Connect with us


War in Ukraine | Ukrainians trained to repair German howitzers in Lithuania



(Vilnius) A group of Ukrainian military mechanics left Lithuania on Friday, after being trained to repair German howitzers supplied to Kyiv to defend against the invasion of Russia.

The 16 mechanics have spent the last 15 days in the central town of Rukla, several of them having already received preliminary training in Germany.

“They acquired theoretical knowledge elsewhere, but […] we taught them real life things, the frequent breakdowns that are not described in textbooks,” Zilvins Cerskus, a major in the Lithuanian army, told AFP.

Lithuania, a NATO member, has had these howitzers since 2016.

In June, Berlin said it began supplying 155mm self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine.

The magazine Der Spiegel reported in November that they were suffering heavy wear from heavy fire of up to 300 shells a day.

With no repair capability in Ukraine, some of the howitzers were taken to NATO countries, including Lithuania.

Mr Cerskus said this training would “save time and resources” since repairs can be carried out closer to the battlefield “instead of waiting for a month or two for the repaired equipment to come back from the foreigner “.

A Lithuanian military official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity said lack of routine maintenance was sometimes to blame for howitzers malfunctioning in Ukraine.

The Lithuanians have trained 500 Ukrainian soldiers in various trainings held this year, and hope to triple that number next year.

“It’s the common enemy that motivates us,” Cerskus said.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *