Australia Sends First Armored Personnel Carriers To Ukraine
These images show the first armored personnel carriers that Australia is sending to Ukraine being prepared for combat and loaded onto a large plane before the aircraft takes off for the battlefields of Europe.
The footage shows the first four M113AS4 armored personnel carriers – out of a total of 14 promised – being prepared for transport.
They can be seen being given a new coat of paint and being equipped with long guns before being tested for combat readiness.
Insignia bearing the flag of Ukraine alongside a kangaroo can also be seen being put on the military vehicles.
The M113AS4s, an Australian upgrade to the American-made M113 armored personnel carrier, are then loaded onto a large Ukrainian Antonov AN-124 aircraft before it takes off into the skies. Its destination: Europe and the Ukrainian battlefields.
Zenger News obtained the images from the Australian Ministry of Defense (MoD) along with a statement saying: “The first four M113AS4 Armored Personnel Carriers being gifted to Ukraine departed RAAF Base Amberley last week.
“Loaded into a Ukrainian Antonov AN-124 aircraft, the four vehicles are the first of 14 M113AS4s to be provided by Australia.
“The Australian government’s military assistance package consists of over AUD 285 million worth of support including Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles, M777 Howitzers; anti-armor weapons, ammunition, unmanned aerial systems and a range of personal equipment.”
The M113 was originally developed by the United States and was first used in 1962 in Vietnam. While the United States Army has been gradually phasing them out in favor of M2 and M3 Bradley armored vehicles, thousands are still in use in support roles, serving as armored ambulances, as well as engineer and command vehicles.
Australia currently has about 700 M113AS4s, which are primarily used for reconnaissance.
The Australian MoD statement also said: “Prime Minister, The Hon. Anthony Albanese said the latest shipment of military assistance responds to a direct request by the Minister of Defense of Ukraine for additional vehicles and demonstrates Australia’s sustained commitment to the people of Ukraine.”
The Australian Prime Minister is quoted in the MoD statement as saying: “Australia, like many nations, condemns the continuing unwarranted aggression of Russia against the people of Ukraine.
“Our nation has stood by Ukraine since the beginning of this unlawful conflict and we are proud to be able to provide access to significant capabilities such as the Armored Personnel Carriers that have traveled in the past week.”
And Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said in the MoD statement: “We will continue to look at ways we can best help the people of Ukraine. Australia stands with Ukraine, and again calls on Russia to cease its unprovoked, unjust and illegal invasion of Ukraine.”
The Australian MoD statement also said: “The M113AS4 Armored Personnel Carrier is a longstanding in-service ADF armored fighting vehicle capability, designed to transport infantry soldiers on the battlefield.
“Developed in Australia, the AS4 is a modernized variant based upon the highly effective M113 series which have served the Australian Army and many other forces with great success since the 1960s.
“Along with the proven Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles, the M113AS4s will provide valuable protected mobility for Ukraine forces, joining similar capabilities being gifted from across the globe.”
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has officially thanked the Australians for their assistance, saying in English: “Ukraine will not forget this. Another batch of Australian armored vehicles are on their way to Ukraine.
“These are 4 of the 14 M113 armored personnel carriers promised by the Australian government. A half-world-long aviation aid bridge unites our people in these difficult times for Ukraine.”
Australia is not a member of NATO but it works closely with the Alliance, of which it is an official partner.
We contacted Russian and Ukrainian officials for comment 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.” June 21 marks the 118th day of the invasion.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and June 21, Russia had lost about 34,100 personnel, 1,496 tanks, 3,606 armored combat vehicles, 752 artillery units, 239 multiple launch rocket systems, 98 air defense systems, 216 warplanes, 181 helicopters, 611 drones, 137 cruise missiles, 14 warships, 2,537 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 59 units of special equipment.
Russia recently conducted an anti-ship missile exercise in the Baltic Sea amid escalating tensions with NATO member Lithuania after the latter country blocked the transit of goods to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.
Ukrainian forces have said that they have been successfully thwarting fresh Russian attempts to advance in the Kharkiv region of north-eastern Ukraine.
And Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, has urged locals in the Kherson region to evacuate the area so as to help Ukrainian forces “de-occupy” the area.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Ukraine’s southern frontline as Ukrainian forces mount a counter attack in the region to push back Russian troops.
The new head of the British Army, General Sir Patrick Sanders, has told British forces that they need to be ready to face Russia on the battlefield and said the British Army now needs to be capable of defeating Russia.
President Joe Biden has promised Kyiv another one billion dollars in security assistance and weapons. And General Mark Milley says Russia has lost around 20 to 30 percent of its armored forces during the ongoing invasion.
President Zelenskyy said that a “historic week” has begun as Kyiv awaits a decision from Brussels regarding its EU candidate status.
Zelenskyy, speaking to the African Union on Monday, June 20, also accused Russia of holding Africa “hostage” over grain and fertilizer shortages.
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi held talks in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv with President Zelenskyy on June 16.
Former Russian president and staunch Vladimir Putin ally Dmitry Medvedev has derided French, German and Italian leaders visiting the Ukrainian capital Kyiv as “fans of frogs, liverwurst and spaghetti.”
The European Parliament adopted a resolution on June 8 recommending that the European Union grant Ukraine the status of candidate country for EU membership. In the balloting, 438 Members of the European Parliament voted in favor of the resolution, with 65 voting against and 94 abstaining.
Independent Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov has auctioned off his Nobel Peace Prize medal for 103.5 million dollars, with all the proceeds going to help Ukrainian refugees.
Muratov, 60, is the editor-in-chief of Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which he co-founded in 1993. He has been a vocal advocate for the freedom of the press and argued that it needs to remain independent from state influence.