WATCH Ukrainian troops train near Crimea
Kiev has conducted military exercises using the Uragan system, a Soviet-designed self-propelled multiple rocket launcher, near the country’s southern border with Crimea, the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported on Wednesday.
According to the army’s press service, troops practiced deployment of the system to firing positions, while targeting missiles at a simulated enemy, in conditions “as close to combat as possible.”
The training is aimed at making sure Ukraine’s army retains combat readiness and is able to deploy to any situation in time, said Lieutenant General Sergey Naev, commander of the united forces.
The exercises near the Russian border come as tensions between Kiev and Moscow remain high. Russia stands accused of placing 100,000 troops on the frontier, with some alleging it is planning an attack. This claim has repeatedly been denied by the Kremlin and has also been played down by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
First in service with the USSR in 1975, the Uragan system is now in operation with many former Soviet republics, as well as a handful of other nations. ‘Uragan’, which means ‘Hurricane’ in Russian, consists of 16 launch tubes mounted on the rear of a heavy truck. Each rocket weighs 280.4 kilograms, while the warheads weigh between 90 and 100 kilograms each, depending on type. A full salvo of 16 missiles can be released in just 20 seconds and can engage targets within a range of 35 kilometers.
The latest training is not the first in recent times near the border with Crimea. Last month, the army conducted exercises using Soviet-designed Grad multiple-launch rocket systems at a training ground in the Kherson Region, a stone’s throw away from the Isthmus of Perekop, a trench separating Russia from Ukraine.