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Watch: Ukrainian Troops Are Taping Grenades To Rocket Launchers and Firing Them

RPG
A Georgian Defense Force soldier fires an RPG-7 on an RPG range during Agile Spirit 19, at the Vaziani Training Area, on August 5, 2019. AsG19 is a joint, multinational exercise co-led by the Georgian Defense Forces and U.S. Army Europe. Occurring July 27 through August 9, 2019, the brigade-level exercise incorporates a command post exercise, field training exercise, and live-fires. Agile Spirit enhances U.S., Georgian, allied and partner forces' lethality, interoperability and readiness in a realistic training environment. (U.S. Army video snapshot by Spc. Ethan Valetski)

Ukrainian Troops Tape Grenades to PG-7VL HEAT Rocket – In a video clip shared online this week which we have embedded below, Ukrainian soldiers can be seen using potentially dangerously improvised weapons to fight Russian invaders.

In the clip, a Ukrainian soldier is seen using an improvised RPG-7/V2 launcher with a custom HEAT rocket. The rocket has at least three grenades taped to the warhead.

The soldier fits the rocket into a launcher inside of a trench, before hopping up onto level ground, aiming the launcher, and firing the improvised weaponry at a Russian position.

Ukraine Weapons Observer, one of the smaller Twitter accounts documenting the weapons used in Ukraine, offered an observation of the kind of weaponry used in the video.

“Interestingly, the Ukrainian soldier uses an RPG-7/V2 launcher with a custom rocket. On the PG-7VL HEAT rocket, several 40mm VOG-25 grenades can be seen taped to the rocket,” the account noted.

The video was first shared by weapons and conflict research account War Noir.

Improvised Weaponry Is Not Uncommon

Improvised and makeshift weapons are by no means uncommon in this conflict. In fact, both Ukrainian and Russian forces have relied on improvised weapons throughout the 2022 Ukraine invasion.

In May, reports revealed how Ukraine deployed mannequins in some regions of Kharkiv to trick Russian soldiers into believing that Ukrainian soldiers were inside vehicles, hiding behind trees, and in other defensive posts throughout the region. The move meant that Russian soldiers could never be certain whether they were looking at mannequins to real soldiers, making it harder to accurately strike Ukrainian targets.

Ukrainian civilians have also been doing their part in the war effort, using resources shared online to help them develop makeshift weapons in their homes. John Spencer, a leading expert in urban warfare, shared tactic knowledge with Ukrainian civilians online in his “Mini Manual for the Urban Defender.” The manual contains advice on surviving attacks and creating weapons that can be used in urban environments.

19FortyFive also reported back in April how Russian troops were repairing damaged drones using duct tape and plastic bottle caps.

Video footage shared at the time by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense showed a Ukrainian soldier taking apart a captured Russian drone. Inside was a consumer-grade DSLR camera. The fuel tank lid had also been replaced with a plastic bottle cap.

“This is seriously real, not fake,” the soldier says in the video. “We even thought of sending this ‘cosmic’ technology to our Western partners.”

Even as NATO countries supply more NATO-standard weapons to Ukraine, many units face long wait times for weapons and ammunition to arrive – and in some cases, those weapons are intercepted and destroyed by Russian forces. For these reasons, we are likely to see troops continue to use makeshift and improvised weapons for as long as the war goes on.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

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