We’d like to present you an interesting article prepared by our friends from the ‘Information Resistance’ group. In its turn, ‘IR’ group thanks Andriy Donets, officers of the SBU’s counter-espionage department and fighters of ‘Azov’ battalion.
Any ammunition is the key element without which the conduct of combat actions is simply impossible. All weapon systems of any caliber and any type serve the only purpose – to provide the intended use of munitions – to hit the opponent.
Bullets and cartridges. What is so special about them? Every soldier has them and all what is needed is that they, if possible, ‘never end’. But long-term combat operations require regular and uninterrupted supply of ammunition. Separatists’ ammunition supply task is handled by the Russian military procurers, as hardly anyone can really claim that the militants have been fighting for two years using the ‘captured Ukrainian ammunition’. The Russians are forced to deliver huge amounts of rifle ammunition, because it is the expendable war material. From the very beginning of the Russian aggression in Ukraine it began to supply ammunition produced in Russia after 1991. And this is not that important if it was caused by dwindling of the Soviet ammunition stockpiles or by negligence of the procurers.
It is important that this is another element of evidence of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. We offer our readers to get briefly acquainted with a number of materials from 2014-15, including the open ones, on the cartridges from the Russian ‘military shops’.
For a start, it is worth noting that we go off of the markings on cartridge packaging which apply principles common in both Ukraine and Russia, as they have been used since the Soviet period. The basic data on the crates, which we will discuss below, is the notational conventions on marking the production date and manufacturers. This data is written on a container in a single line and consists of three components: the number of cartridges batch, ammunition production year (last two digits) and conventional digital code of the manufacturer.
So. July of 2014. The city of Slavyansk is liberated by the Ukrainian soldiers. The footage by ‘Channel 5’, among various captured ammunition of Girkin’s militants, shows a container with the Russian newest SPP cartridges of caliber 9×39, which is mainly used for ‘Val’ or ‘Vintorez’ rifles. Indeed there are weapons of such caliber in the service of the Ukrainian special forces, but the container in the screenshot is purely Russian. 9×39 SPP (sniper, enhanced penetration) cartridges were patented in the Russian Federation in 2006 and that same year their serial production began.
The batch, year and manufacturer are specified on the crate by the M46-07-539 code, where M46 is the batch No., 07 refers to the year of production (2007), and 539 is the manufacturer code – Tulsk ammunition factory.
August-September of 2014. Slavyansk’s outskirts. Fighters of the Ukrainian Directorate of Intelligence show the officers of the SBU’s counter-espionage department several trophy containers of 9×39 SP5 cartridges without any markings on crates or cartridges. But we have to say that these cartridges can still be dated by some other characteristics.
These cartridges could have been produced exclusively in Russia, since the 9×39 cartridges in bimetallic sleeves are made only by Klimovsk specialized ammunition plant (previously, the factory had code 711) and the period of such production covered about 15 years – from the second half of the 1990s till the end of 2010s. Thus, these cartridges also belong exclusively to the post-Soviet period of production.
These are deactivated 9×39 SP5 cartridges with container produced by the Klimovsk plant.
Besides the special purpose ammunition, the most massively supplied ammo are standard high caliber cartridges, including the 5.45×39 rifle ammo.
January 15, 2015. The pro-Russian militants attack the Donetsk airport. Semen Pegov, a Russian reporter from ‘Life News’ channel, broadcasts from the territory of the airport and gives on-the-spot comments about the militants’ actions. The link to the video – Youtube.
At the same time, almost continuously from 3:21 till 3:53, he posed in front of the Russian ‘spam can’ with 5.45×39 cartridges with PS bullets manufactured by Barnaul Cartridge Plant No.17 in 1993, and it obviously in no way could be a ‘trophy’ container captured from the Ukrainian military.
Identification mark is identification mark, where А98 is the batch No., 93 refers to the production year (1993) and 17 is the code of Barnaul Cartridge Plant.
July 14, 2015. Andrey Rodionov, a pro-Russian militant from Sevastopol, uploads a group photo to his social profile in VK network. It shows fighters of the ‘Feniks’ detachment (a part of ‘Prizrak’ brigade) ruled by now-deceased Aleksey Mozgovoy.
Apart from Rodionov (the second from the right), the picture shows a crate with 5.45×39 cartridges which also has similar Russian marking outstanding only with the manufacturing batch number. The same 1993 year and Barnaul Cartridge Plant No. 17, but the batch No. is A66.
August-September of 2015. Scouts of ‘Azov’ regiment captured a lot of various rifle ammunition in the area of Shyrokyne. There also was modern Russian munition produced in recent years. Below you can find a photo of one of the trophy ammo containers with Russian 5.45 cartridges from batch No. A90, manufactured in 1993.
This way, based on the abovementioned information, we can make an unambiguous conclusion about the mass supply of the Russian-terrorist forces with the modern Russian-made munitions. At the same time the shipments of the 5.45×39 rifle ammo are done all over the perimeter of the conflict zone. In the Luhansk direction (‘LPR’, ‘Feniks’ company) cartridges from batch No. A66 have been identified; in Donetsk direction (airport) – A98; Sector M – A90. Taking into account the fact that one batch contains hundreds of thousands of cartridges, it’s hard to imagine the giant amounts of ammo shipped by the Russian ‘military shops’.
Besides the Barnaul 5.45 bullets, the ‘Azov’ fighters have captured Russian ammunition of other types and manufacturers. In the photo below you can see trophy 5.45×39 cartridge samples:
- cartridge with PS bullet, marked 17 93
- cartridge with PS bullet, marked 7 95 (Amur cartridge plant No. 7, 1995)
- cartridge with modernized tracer bullet 7T3M, marked 3 00 (Ulyanovsk cartridge plant No.3, 2000)