A UKRAINIAN colonel shouted “God save the Queen” on Thursday as his troops displayed British weapons hailed as game-changers should war with Russia break out.
The UK has shipped 2,000 NLAW anti-tank missiles to the Eastern European country besieged by more than 200,000 troops loyal to Vladimir Putin
And brave defenders greeted Britain’s support yesterday when they told how man-portable rockets would play a vital role in the battle.
About 100 British coaches are participating Ukraine honing the skills of infantrymen, who would launch “fire and forget” guided missiles against advancing Russian armor.
The NLAWS was commissioned today at the Ukrainian Army’s Desna Range, just 50 miles from the border with Belarus, where Russia has conducted major exercises.
Lieutenant Colonel Ihor Bezogluk, of Ukraine’s 72nd Brigade told The Sun: “God save the Queen and thank you very much Britain for giving us the NLAWS.
“We are delighted with all the support from around the world – especially the UK. This has boosted morale and it will make Russians think.
“Anything that could help us defend our country was very well received and these missiles changed the war for us.
“That means we can fight the Russians and it doesn’t matter how many of them there are – now we have a way to stop their armor.”
Infantry soldiers equip 3-foot-long launchers – described as “advanced tank killers” – in a mock urban setting to prepare for a bloody guerrilla war.
The NLAWS – or Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon – weighs just 28lb but can stop any tank from dying in its path.
The Ukrainian military trained for just an hour to track a target through the weapon’s sights for a few seconds before firing the missile, which automatically locked.
A small amount propels the missile out of the launch tube before its afterburner ignites to power its armor-piercing warhead to an enemy tank or vehicle.
The missiles can be fired more than half a mile away – or at least 20 meters from inside buildings – making them ideal for the door-to-door guerrilla war planned by Ukraine.
The NLAWS, designed and built by British and Swedish weapons manufacturers, is said to be able to turn “hunters into chasers” in tank battles.
‘WE ARE SAVING US FOR THE RUSSIA’
The Ukrainian military saved a vital missile stockpile yesterday by training with lasers to mark tank targets on a mock battlefield.
The UK Defense Secretary looks certain to replenish supplies if war breaks out.
Colonel Bezogluk – whose brigade emblem is the Skull of Death with the inscription “Ukraine or Death” – added: “We are training in urban and trench warfare.
“The missiles mean we will be able to defend a city and fight the enemy.
“These soldiers are 100% confident that they can win and that they will fight until their last breath.”
The colonel said his NLAW force was now combat-ready but would not attempt to fire new weapons again until war broke out.
He laughs: “We’re saving them for the Russians if they come.”
Infantryman trained hard in the trenches and abandoned buildings on the vast military training ground south of the Belarusian border, which was once the second largest of the former Soviet Union.
Some 80,000 Russian and Belarusian warplanes loyal to Vladimir Putin have begun 10 days of offensive warfare with troops, tanks, artillery and air just a few miles north across the border.
Another 140,000 Russian troops, sailors and air force are currently attacking Ukraine’s southern and eastern borders along with 30,000 pro-Russian separatists in the occupied Donbas area.
‘GOD LIVING THE QUEEN’
The phrase “God Save The Queen” has been trending on Ukrainian social media sites for weeks as locals greet The UK’s solid backing and military support.
The British have now become so popular in the capital Kiev that they are offered free food and drinks by their grateful hosts at a number of bars and restaurants.
Ukrainian NLAW trainer Sergeant Roman Yaramenko, 28, of the 72nd Brigade said yesterday: “Technically, they are brilliant missiles like before we only had rocket-propelled grenades.
“These weapons are absolutely a game changer for us because it’s like they have a brain.
“You can shoot and forget them and you can even hit hidden tanks, shoot from buildings or trenches – that means we are now ready to defend Ukraine and protect Ukraine. protect her.
“We are strong inside and ready to fight.”
Russian and Ukrainian forces began exercises at a distance today – stoking fresh fears that a military mistake would spark war.
Thousands of Russian and allied forces have begun “Operation Allied Resolve 2022” – the largest deployment to Belarus since the Cold War – for fear of becoming a cloak for a Ukrainian attack.
Ukraine has requested a mirror image of operations against the threat just a few miles south on its territory.
Massive military exercises are also planned by Ukraine to the south near the border with Russia-annexed Crimea, which has already overrun thousands of troops.
Fly tension rose higher yesterday as pro-Putin forces occupying Donbas in the east warn that their enemy’s tanks are moving.
Separatists in Donbas stir up feelings of restlessness in Donetsk claimed to have spotted threatening Ukrainian tanks moving about 10 miles from their location.
These soldiers are 100% confident that they can win and they will fight until their last breath
Lieutenant Colonel Ihor Bezogluk, of Ukraine’s 72nd Brigade
However, Ukraine insists it has followed the seismic ceasefire rules along the 250-mile trench surrounding Donetsk since pro-Russian forces carried out a land grab in 2014.
British defense analyst Paul Beaver told The Sun: “Intensive military operations orchestrated by enemy troops in close proximity increase the error rate significantly.
“We are entering a very dangerous phase in which a stray bullet or missile or a mechanical failure could be the cause of all-out war.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4658120/ukraine-commander-sings-god-save-the-queen/ Ukrainian colonel praises the Queen and shows off Brit ‘tank killer’ missiles shipped to fight Putin’s armored hordes