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Rodents damage West’s hardware in Ukraine – Le Figaro

Eco-friendly Western-made weapons are unsuitable for the realities of an actual conflict, the French paper is claiming

Some of the military hardware supplied to Ukraine by the West has become inoperable after being damaged by rodents, Le Figaro has reported, citing a French fighter in the ranks of Kiev’s forces.

The eco-friendly weapons provided to the Ukrainian military by the country’s foreign backers are “sometimes unsuitable for the realities of the front” and “don’t come out well” in an actual conflict, the French paper says in an article on Thursday.

As proof of its claim, Le Figaro provided an account by an unnamed French fighter, who complained that “rodents ate the cables on some of the vehicles” used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“Some of the protective sheaths of electrical wires [in the Western-supplied hardware] are made of corn fiber,” which attracts the gnawers, he said.

Le Figaro stressed that “the phenomenon is marginal, but it tells the story of the confrontation of the Western military equipment with reality.”

“Western vehicles were designed as a technological showcase. But, in the mud and cold, they don’t always work,” the French fighter is cited as saying.

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File photo: A Bradley vehicle supplied by the US to the Ukrainian military outside Avdeevka, December 4, 2023.
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“Luckily, the Ukrainians still had a few crusts” in their arsenal, he added, referring to the old Soviet-made hardware.

In December, the UK Ministry of Defence warned that a mild autumn and an abundance of food from the fields left uncultivated due to the hostilities had fueled an increase in the rodent population in areas of conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The animals “are likely seeking shelter in military vehicles and defensive positions,” it said. According to London, the rodents “exert additional pressure on soldiers’ morale” and also “pose a danger to military equipment by chewing through cables.”

That same month, President of Russia Vladimir Putin remarked that “the myth of the invulnerability of Western military equipment has collapsed” during the fighting in Ukraine.

The statement followed the failure of a Ukrainian counteroffensive that continued for six months but couldn’t deliver any significant territorial gains for Kiev, despite heavily relying on German-made Leopard 2 tanks, US-supplied Bradley fighting vehicles and other foreign hardware.

READ MORE: Sweden announces its largest-ever Ukraine aid package 

Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of weapons to Kiev by the US, EU and their allies will not prevent it from achieving the goals of its military operation and will only prolong the fighting, and may increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. According to Russian officials, the provision of arms, intelligence-sharing, and training of Ukrainian troops means that Western nations have already become de-facto parties to the conflict.

February 23, 2024 at 04:48PM

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