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Watch Russian Artillery Strike French CAESAR Howitzer In Ukraine

CAESAR
French soldiers conduct a live-fire exercise, with their Nexter Systems Caesar self-propelled wheeled armored vehicles, outside of Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 14, 2009. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Teddy Wade/Released)

Footage shared online this week showed how Russian artillery damaged a French CAESAR 155mm self-propelled howitzer somewhere in Eastern Ukraine.

The footage, recorded by a Russian rotary blade drone, shows the self-propelled howitzer being hit by Russian MLRS fire. It is unknown just how much damage the strike did to the vehicle, given the immense height from which the video was recorded. The video does, however, show a substantial blast and shows the howitzer in flames as soldiers scatter.

Ukraine Weapons Tracker, a popular English-language war tracker account, shared the video on Twitter and noted that ammunition on the ground appeared to be destroyed by the strike.

“Russian Artillery/MRLS fire damaged a French CAESAR 155mm self-propelled howitzer during fighting, presumably in the East. The ammo was destroyed,” the post reads.

CAESARs Proven A Valuable Tool

Ukraine first used the French-supplied CAESAR self-propelled howitzer to strike Russian targets in February. Even with these renowned pieces of military machinery, however, Russia had the upper hand in the early days of the conflict. As time went by, however, the number of CAESAR howitzers supplied by France increased.

By April, Ukrainian troops were accustomed to using the military vehicles as part of their overall military strategy, and troops on the battlefield praised the military vehicles for their ability to fire an average of five rounds in less than a minute and at a distance of 13 miles.

“This system is primarily very manoeuvrable and mobile. In modern warfare, this is a crucial factor. Our old systems are stationary, so to speak. This is truck-mounted artillery to put in the field,” one Ukrainian commander operating the vehicles reportedly said in July.

The same commander, speaking under the condition of anonymity, said that training troops to use the French vehicles initially proved challenging, but that troops quickly remembered everything and incorporated the vehicles into their strategy.

France Donates Six Additional Caesar Howitzers

In July, French Minister for Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna told a Senate commission that an additional six French-made CAESAR artillery guns that were promised to Ukraine in June were on their way.

It follows a donation of 12 of the howitzers, which have already been delivered to Ukraine.

“At the national level, France is fully committed even though we communicate less than others what we are doing,” the French minister said, adding that the French government made a decision not to communicate all of its military contributions to Ukraine.

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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