- A new video shows Ukrainian army soldiers learning to use British NLAW anti-tank weapons for the first time
- It comes as an ally of Vladimir Putin has claimed invading ‘outnumbered’ Ukraine would take just 48 hours
- Top US general Mark Milley has called the Ukraine border force build up the biggest since the Cold War
- The US Defense Secretary also expressed concern that Putin could utilise other means beyond an invasion
- But Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky accused the West of creating a ‘panic’ around the tensions
PUBLISHED: 21:12 AEDT, 29 January 2022 | UPDATED: 00:13 AEDT, 30 January 2022
A new video shows Ukrainian soldiers training with British NLAW anti-tank weapons for the first time.
The drills in Lviv region come as Russia continues to tighten its military noose around Ukraine while officially denying any intention to invade.
But one close Vladimir Putin ally claimed it would take a maximum 48 hours to invade Ukraine because Kyiv is so outnumbered.
‘Representatives of the British training mission in Ukraine introduced our military to the performance characteristics and features of the use of light anti-tank weapons provided by international partners,’ said Kyiv’s armed forces.
\A Ukrainian service member fires a next generation light anti-tank weapon (NLAW) supplied by Britain during drills at Ukraine’s International Peacekeeping Security Centre near Yavoriv in the Lviv region, Ukraine yesterda
The NLAW hand-held guided missile launcher is seen as having an excellent guidance system that provides a high probability of destroying a moving target with the first shot.
Ukraine also has US Javelin anti-tank guided missiles and its own anti-tank systems and armed drones.
New videos show heavy Russian military equipment continuing to arrive in Belarus – to the north of Ukraine, and annexed Crimea, to the south.
Major military hardware is also seen in new social media footage recorded in Rostov and Voronezh regions to the east of Ukraine.
Another video highlights 12 Russian Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile systems to Belarus ostensibly for joint military exercises.+
Members of the Ukrainian army training to use British NLAW anti-tank missiles at the Yavorovsky training ground
The NLAW hand-held guided missile launcher is seen as having an excellent guidance system that provides a high probability of destroying a moving target with the first shot
Ukraine now estimates Russia’s manpower is up to 130,000, with the US claiming it has sufficient firepower to attempt a partial or complete invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said: ‘Now we are observing units that include some 112,000 people, and it’s about 130,000 with the naval and aviation components.
‘In April 2021, the combat component that Russia was transferring comprised 126,000 people. So, the numbers are proportionate. The reaction is not proportionate.’
US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said on Friday: ‘While we don’t believe that President Putin has made a final decision to use these forces against Ukraine, he clearly now has the capability.’
He warned of provocations such as a ‘false flag operation’ to trigger Russian intervention.
A close Putin ally Konstantin Malofeev – who runs an investment group and a staunchly pro-Kremlin media – told Znak media that it would take two days to control Ukraine.
‘Open military conflict between Russia and Ukraine cannot be a war, or, at least, a long-term war, because the difference in military potential is so big that there can be only an operation for forcing the peace,’ he said.
‘It will take 48 hours maximum, and we cannot talk about different fronts.’
He claimed that Ukraine was currently under the sway of US and British – ‘Anglo-Saxon’ – secret services .
‘The invasion has already happened,’ he said.
‘American and British special services already are Ukrainian territory.
‘We know that Canadian special forces have arrived in Ukraine.
Therefore we can expect provocations on the border with DPR (pro-Moscow rebel-held Donetsk People’s Republic) and LPR (Luhansk Peoples’ Republic).
‘Perhaps, these won’t be Ukrainians but Anglo-Saxon special forces, who organise these provocations, because Americans and British are ready to take on the Russians, until the last Ukrainian falls.’
He claimed: ‘We consider Ukraine as a country temporarily occupied by the Anglo-Saxon special services, in which there is no sovereign power, which is completely under the control of these special services.
‘So, we are not talking with the Ukrainian authorities, but with the collective West.
‘For this reason, negotiations are not taking place in Kyiv, but in Geneva, in Brussels, where it is necessary to talk with the owners of the current Kyiv regime….
‘Yes, they don’t even want to contact them.
‘Let’s see if their masters will be ready to make peace without shedding the blood of Ukrainians and Russians, or they will drag the Ukrainians into this crazy and suicidal conflict.’
Malofeef has denied Western claims of previous destabilisation of eastern Ukraine.
In the Baltic, Russian staged exegetic launch drills against ‘aggressor ships’ with Bastion mobile coastal missile systems.
A top US general has called the force build-up on Ukraine’s border the biggest since the Cold War and could ‘result in a significant amount of casualties’ if they were all unleashed.
Speaking at a press briefing at the Pentagon yesterday, Joint Chiefs Of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley told reporters Russia’s conflict with Ukraine feels ‘larger in scale’ than tensions in recent years.
He said: ‘It does feel different in terms of what we’ve seen in the past of Russian exercises, et cetera.
‘This is larger in scale and scope and the massing of forces than anything we have seen in recent memory, and I think you’d have to go back quite a while into the Cold War days to see something of this magnitude.
‘They do annual exercises and we watch those closely but this is different.’
General Milley added that while it’s not definite that Russia will go through with an attack, the consequences of offensive action could be devastating.
He said: ‘We don’t think final decisions have been made to conduct any sort of offensive operation into Ukraine by the Russians, and we firmly believe there’s still room for a diplomatic outcome here.
Having said that, given the type of forces that are arrayed – the ground maneuver forces, the artillery, the ballistic missiles, the air forces – all of it packaged together, if that was unleashed on Ukraine, it would be significant, very significant, and would result in a significant amount of casualties.+24View gallery
Meanwhile Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky (pictured) accused the West and Washington in particular of creating a ‘panic’ around the border tensions
Drills in Lviv. The Kremlin wants Ukraine to be excluded from ever joining the Nato security alliance, plus a withdrawal of western troops from eastern Europe