Ukrainian Guardsmen Take Part in Combat Exercises With MT-12 Anti-Tank Guns

Ukrainian Guardsmen took part in combat exercises with MT-12 anti-tank guns, as can be seen in video released by the military.

The Ukrainian military said such combat exercises are vital because "the sweat of the artillery protects the blood of the infantry."

The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs said Wednesday: "Artillerymen of the brigade of the Northern Operational Territorial Association of NSU (National Guard) continue to improve their skills in combat shooting with MT-12 'Rapira' anti-tank guns.

National Guard of Ukraine training
Ukrainian Guardsmen took part in combat exercises with MT-12 anti-tank guns, as can be seen in a video released by the military. @ngunorth/Zenger

"They are usually called 'gods of war.' After all, artillery destroys enemy structures, equipment and manpower and, most importantly, supports the actions of its comrades on the battlefield.

"To polish their military skills, Guardsmen practiced battle plans during tactical exercises with combat firing of our artillery units.

"Soldiers of the NSU improved the acquired knowledge and skills in equipping combat positions, bringing weapons into combat readiness, and destroying enemy armored vehicles.

The commander of the NSU unit said: "All divisions coped with the assigned task. Artillery gun operators gained new knowledge and irreplaceable practice in performing firing operations to destroy equipment and support the actions of our mechanized units."

"It is not by coincidence there is the saying 'the sweat of the artillery protects the blood of the infantry', because the more accurate and efficient the 'gods of war' are, the more successful the other units will be."

Zenger News contacted the Ukrainian National Guard for further comment, as well as the Russian Ministry of Defense, but had not received a reply at the time of writing.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is calling a "special military operation." Thursday marks the 148th day of the invasion.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and July 20, Russia had lost about 38,750 personnel, 1,700 tanks, 3,905 armored combat vehicles, 856 artillery units, 250 multiple launch rocket systems, 113 air defense systems, 221 warplanes, 188 helicopters, 703 drones, 167 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 2,775 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 70 units of special equipment.

CIA chief William Burns said Wednesday that there is no intelligence that Russian President Vladimir Putin is in bad health or unstable. It has long been rumored in Western media that Putin, 69, has been suffering from ill health, possibly cancer, but Burns joked that the Russian president appeared "too healthy," adding: "He is convinced that his destiny as Russia's leader is to restore Russia as a great power.

"He believes the key to doing that is to recreate a sphere of influence in Russia's neighborhood and he cannot do that without controlling Ukraine."

Burns said the U.S. believes Russia has so far lost around 15,000 soldiers in Ukraine, with some 45,000 wounded.

Washington announced Wednesday that it will provide Ukraine with more long-range weapons despite an apparent warning from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that such an act would broaden Moscow's military focus in Ukraine.

A report released on the same day by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights said Russian troops committed serious rights violations in Ukraine. The Warsaw-based office cited cases including the shelling of a theater in Mariupol in mid-March and of Kramatorsk train station in early April.

Both of these incidents resulted in civilian deaths and may amount to Russian war crimes, said the institution.

The report also detailed witness reports of illegal executions, detentions, abductions, and cases of torture and sexual violence.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.