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Sorry, Putin: Ukraine Is Getting New Mortars to Fight Russia

Army Col. Randy Lau fires a 120 mm mortar during live-fire exercise at Camp Roberts, Calif., June 15, 2021. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Walter Lowell

Watch Ukrainians Unpack New Bosnian Mortars: Video footage shared on social media shows Ukrainian soldiers unpacking brand-new weaponry supplied by an unexpected source – Bosnia.

The video, shared on Telegram and also on Twitter by the popular war tracking account Ukraine Weapons Tracker, shows soldiers unpacking three brand-new M69A 82mm mortars.

The mortars are wrapped in brown paper and soldiers can be seen inspecting the weapons while smoking cigarettes.

#Ukraine: Yet more weapons are coming to Ukraine from varied and sometimes unexpected countries; footage of Ukrainian troops unpacking three fresh Bosnian M69A 82mm mortars,” the account writes.

The identity of the soldiers in the video was not revealed, nor was their location.

The soldiers can be seen wearing relaxed footwear, suggesting that they were not in any immediate danger of Russian fire at the time the video was recorded.

Ukraine Has New Mortats: Who Sent Them?

It is unclear whether the weapons were sent directly from the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Still, in the absence of an official announcement that the weapons were sent to Ukraine by the country’s federal government, it may be safe to assume that they were donated by another party.

As noted in the Ukraine Weapons Tracker post on Twitter, the mortars are widely available for export and could have been purchased and sent by NATO Allies.

Some analysts speculated that the weapons could have been sent by Poland, a NATO country that already purchases and exports both mortars and mortar shells from Bosnia.

Ukraine Weapons Tracker and Observer, a smaller war tracker account, noted that the abbreviation “BNT-TMiHBA” can be seen at the bottom of the mortar, which refers to a Bosnian arms factory located in Novi Travnik.

What is the M69A 82mm Mortar?

The M69A 82mm mortar is a Yugoslavian-designed weapon designed to provide indirect fire support for light infantry.

The version that arrived in Ukraine is not the 81mm caliber NATO version, the M69B, but the original variant.

The mortar has been used by the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Syria, Servia, North Macedonia, and the Philippines.

A man-portable weapon, the mortar is designed to give lethal fire support against lightly fortified targets, meaning it is effective in targeting small vehicles like trucks and jeeps and can also be used to fire at trenches and sandbag-protected enemy positions.

The mortars are also commonly used to obstruct enemy observation posts with smoke barriers.

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He 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.