The National Guardsmen of the Eastern Operational Territorial Association are actively restoring damaged equipment – their own and trophy equipment.
Back in April, the Guardsmen created a joint unit that searches for and transports parts, units, and sometimes surviving samples of Soviet and Russian armored vehicles to assembly repair points and enterprises. In the end, the evacuation group itself, which managed to obtain dozens of armored vehicles and vehicles for the guards, uses the trophy KETL and BREM. This time, we found the unit behind the fact that the servicemen were pulling out the turret of the tank with the barrel from the caponira.
NSU officer with the pseudonym “Viktorovich” has been in the army for 26 years, since 2015 in the National Guard of Ukraine. He says that modern methods of damage are so powerful that even what appears to be intact must be tested in special laboratories.
Viktorovych, national guard:
“The mechanism here was damaged due to the detonation of the ammunition. One can only imagine what this battle damage was like. As far as I know, this tank was damaged by our aviation, helicopter unit. The most valuable thing here is this part of the gun barrel. It has almost no channel wear. And in general, 3.3 mm is permissible. Unfortunately, barrels for tank guns are not produced in Ukraine. That’s why we take such a risk. During the repair and restoration of the equipment, a problem arose with spare parts, because some samples were still of the Soviet model. A group was created to evacuate damaged equipment and abandoned equipment of the Russian Federation. Around July, the group started working on the front lines. First of all, these are scouts who use drones. Then the cover and demining group is advanced. Passages are made in minefields. Then the evacuation group arrives, which loads the equipment onto trawlers, and they go to factories where it is restored.”
The need for spare parts for trophy tanks, BMPs, armored personnel carriers, and armored vehicles is only growing. Guardsmen are exploring vast areas to at least partially close it. The repairmen carefully select what has not been affected by high temperatures, shrapnel, and significant deformations. Armored vehicles abandoned by the Russians during their retreat are already fighting against them in the east. And some units have turned into a training base.
Viktorovych, national guard:
“The task was set to equip the tank unit of the 3rd brigade. The group started working with heavy equipment. These are tanks. Since the beginning of its work, thirteen pieces of equipment have been evacuated. These are T-80, T-72 tanks. Yesterday, we evacuated another unit to the factory. For the purpose of removing the cannon, this is already the fourteenth unit. These machines are now being restored. Some have already been restored, are performing combat tasks as part of the 3rd operational brigade. Also, our car, which we evacuated during the offensive actions of our troops, is also at the NSU Training Center.”
The work of the evacuation team is very difficult and dangerous. Sudden shelling or mine traps are commonplace for the fighters of a combined unit.
The National Guardsman with the call sign “Shadow” once served four years in the 3rd brigade of operational assignment, resigned, but was then called up to the 5th brigade for mobilization. His main tool is a metal detector, which was manufactured in Kharkiv, an analogue of one of the American models. It is quite functional and allows you to “see” metal objects to a depth of 85 cm.
Shadow, National Guardsman:
“Mining in the middle of this technique is very common. These are stretch marks that they set up with F-1 grenades. There is also mining near the equipment with anti-tank mines. There are cases when a high-explosive fragmentation projectile is still laid under the mine. You have to walk three or four kilometers, demining roads, to get to this equipment. It is impossible to detect everything at once. Replaces the enemy with an unlimited number of mines.
My unit received its baptism of fire almost as soon as we started working on the front lines. We came under mortar fire. But the boys showed resilience and completed the task. From the latter, in the direction of Svatove, an armored personnel carrier 4-E and a Varta armored car were hit. There was also a very difficult situation. The equipment was constantly under mortar and artillery fire. There were no asphalted roads there, so they worked in mud, almost waist-deep in liquid mass. However, the task was completed without loss.”
The evacuation group worked in the North of Kharkiv Oblast, in the Balakliya, Izyum, Slovyan, Svativ directions, etc. This is a very dangerous, difficult and exhausting job that requires special skills and equipment. And it is extremely important for the approach of our Victory over the Russian invaders.
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