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    HomeWorldOn the Front Lines with a Ukrainian Artillery Unit

    On the Front Lines with a Ukrainian Artillery Unit

    On the Front Lines with a Ukrainian Artillery Unit

    CHASIV YAR, — The soldiers firing 50 to 60 rounds a day from a howitzer cannon in Ukraine gave up on wearing earplugs long ago: Protection doesn't mean much when you've already lost much of your hearing. The acrid fumes are just another commonplace occurrence, as is the smoke that socks in their position on the outskirts of Bakhmut, masking them from Russian forces trying to identify the source of the projectiles.

    “Better for cover,” Andrii, the artillery unit's commander with silver-tipped hair and a sharp black goatee, half joked as he looked up to the sky, ever vigilant for enemy drones.

    The unit of nine, code named the Black Birds, carefully tends to its M777, artillery that was delivered by Ukraine's benefactors after a lengthy negotiation process. There are only a few hundred in the country, and each cannon is considered a high-value target by the Russians.

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    When Ukraine received its first shipment of the deadly weapon last April, it was a godsend for Ukrainian forces. Highly accurate and lightweight, howitzers are beloved by American and British forces alike who relied heavily on the cannon during the war in Afghanistan. While the exact number of howitzers in Ukraine is not publicly available, the U.S. has donated the largest number to Ukraine — 142, officially — followed in much smaller quantities by the U.K., and ,…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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