POTD: Tavors in Ukraine

This photo shows Ukrainian Special Forces deployed in the Donetsk region of Eastern Ukraine where they have been fighting Pro-Russian rebels. They are armed with Fort-221, the Ukrainian licensed version of the Tavor TAR-21. This must, I think, be the first time the Tavor has been deployed for combat in Europe.

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The Source of the Guns of Ukraine … And Suppressed Mortar, Maxim Machine Guns and Car Stopping 12 Gauge Rounds
FORT-227 and FORT-228: Galil ACE Being Manufactured In Ukraine

Two variants of the IWI Galil ACE have  shown up on the website of the Ukrainian firm FORT. The first variant, pictured above, is the FORT-227. It is the FORT equivalent of the Galil ACE 22 Carbine. It is chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO with a 13″ barrel. FORT’s website mentions that the trigger group is the same one used with the Galil sniper rifle. I am not sure if this applies to just FORT’s variant or to all Galil ACE rifles.

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Ukrainian Troops in Action

Recently, World Conflict Films promoted some combat footage from a Ukrainian infantry battalion named the “Donbass Battalion” in action against rebels in the Ukraine. Some of the Youtube movie is very revealing as to what the Ukrainan forces are actually using in combat. The video can be watched here. It lasts for 3 minutes and 47 seconds, and is interesting from a military standpoint as to how the Ukrainians conduct their operations. But for the purposes of TFB, we’ll be looking at the small arms in use by the Infantrymen. All of the ensuing pictures are screenshots from the clip about the battalion.

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Tracing Ammunition Suppliers in Ukraine

C. J. Chivers investigated the firearm ammunition used by Ukrainian rebels and discovered that they are exactly the ammunition you would expect to find in Ukrainian military stockpiles or in the inventory of the arms dealers who pillaged Ukrainian stockpiles after the Soviet collapse. Chivers reports at the NY Times

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Donetsk & Lugansk People's Republic Now Making Guns

The self-proclaimed rebel Federal State of Novorossiya, the unrecognized confederation of Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic located inside Ukraine, are now manufacturing their own DIY submachine guns. The Novorussian SMG appears to fire a 9mm round, either 9x18mm Makarov or 9x19mm NATO, from a simple blowback action and a threaded barrel (with optional suppressor).

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Kalashnikov and KBP Sanctioned By Canada

Kalashnikov Concern, makers of Tigr SVD, Vepr and Saiga rifles and shotguns, and KBP Instrument Design Bureau, the less well known manufacturer or the GSh-18 pistol and VSK-94 rifle, have been added to the Government of Canada’s list of sanctioned Russian companies. The Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the following statement

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Ukranian-Rebel Vintage Open Carry

Arto Pulkki, Eastern Europe military expert and writer at Suomen Sotilas, emailed us the above photo of Igor ”Strelkov” Girkin, the infamous leader of the Donbass People’s Militia which occupy two of Ukraine’s eastern provinces.

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Mr. Silencer is Back

The solider/militiaman photographed carrying a AR-15 in the Crimea has surfaced again, this time in Eastern Ukraine.  Arto Pulkki at Suomen Sotilas writes

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Comparative Weapon Analysis of Crimea Troops and Eastern Ukraine Militias

In both the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine anti-government troops, without identification on their uniforms, popped up supposedly from nowhere. Nobody had any doubt that the troops in the Crimea where professional Russian soldiers. They were highly disciplined, armed with the latest Russian equipment and well supported. It has been assumed by many that the Eastern Ukraine militias occupying government buildings are also Russian soldiers. Arto Pulkki at Suomen Sotilas, a Finnish Military magazine, makes a compelling case that the Ukraine militias are not Russian troops, but rather an assorted rabble of civilians and retired or reserve soldiers

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STG 44 In Ukraine

STG 44 / MP43/44 rifles have been showing up all over the world in the last couple of years. An eagle-eyed reader spotted one at Ukraine’s newest and most popular tourist attraction, the private palace of their former President. The above image is a still from a VICE video (See 2:10. Embedded below) of the Presidents sprawling complex. Also take a look at his ammunition collection at 3:29.

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Russian Troops Using AR Rifles in the Crimea

This photo shows Russian troops arresting Ukrainian naval officers in the Crimea. Surprisingly the solider is holding an AR-10 (or AR-15) rifle. It has a long range scope, a gas block bipod and a suppressor. The Kremlin wants plausible deniability that they are actually occupying the region. Like the rest of the troops occupying the Crimea, he has no insignia on his uniform. The use of Western-style rather than Russian weapons may be to give the Kremlin further deniability.

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Guns of Russia's Ukranian incursion

As the article states, “only good thing coming out of that whole situation is that we get to gawk at the Russian hardware on display.”

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Ukraine Manufacturing Tavor in 5.45x39mm

Ukrainian state-owned firm RPC Fort (Research and Production Company Fort of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine) is manufacturing under license a variant of the IWI Tavor chambered in 5.45x39mm Russian.

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Magpul Folding Carbine FMG 9

Check out the latest Magpul creation. It is a folding carbine. Similar to the Ares FMG and PP-90. It appears to use some glock parts uses the Glock action, magazines and laser systems.

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