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Ukraine Sells France’s CAESAR Howitzer Guns on Black Market to Russians for $120K Each

lIt has been revealed that a faction within Ukraine’s military has sold two of France’s recently gifted Self-Propelled Artillery CAESAR Systems on the black market. As it turns out, they were apparently sold to the Russians for $120,000 apiece.


Freddie Ponton
21st Century Wire

Anyone looking at this conflict with even a modicum of realism would’ve already realised that the end result of flooding this region with an endless flow of western arms would result in a substantial amount of these weapons ending up on the black market, as well as in the hands of radical terrorist groups in other regions. The other obvious point missed by our western media ‘experts’, is that it would be in Russia’s interests to try and purchase some of these weapons in order to effectively  ‘take them off the street,’ lest they up being used against citizens of Russian Federation, and the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. The bottom line: NATO and its western taxpayer-funded weapons operation is now the primary source of a massive international arms trafficking supply chain.

Oleksandr Danylyuk, coordinator of the NATO-Ukraine loftily titled “intergovernmental platform for early detection and countering hybrid threats” and the current head of the equally important-sounding Ukraine Centre for Defence Reforms, has recently commented on the difficulties which the Russian Armed Forces’ cruise missiles strikes are posing to Ukrainian forces, and explained that such strikes are being conducted at low altitude, and so they’re virtually invisible to Ukraine’s air defense system. So to solve this problem, Danilyuk and the Zelensky regime have been calling on its altruistic Western sponsors to transfer more artillery systems, and man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS), but also some western interceptor F-15E and F16 fighters to Ukraine.

In the last four months, so many Western weapons have made their way into the war zone, but none have been more talked about than the recent supply of multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS), a medium to long-range launcher, including Britain’s M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System, and of course, the famous US M142 “HIMARS” High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, and the US M777, all of which were delivered to Ukraine Ministry of Defense to counter Russia’s apparent advantage when it comes to artillery firepower.

As expected, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense did not miss the opportunity to promote its newly acquired toys on Twitter:

However, what is much less promoted by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense is the whereabouts and fate of no less than 14 of France’s “CAESAR” Self-Propelled Artillery Systems which were also transferred to Ukraine.


Image Source: South Front

CAESAR: What happened to them, and where are they?

On April 22, 2022, the CAESAR cannons entered the conflict zone after French President Emmanuel Macron announced the gift of the artillery systems to Ukraine, as well as the arrival of 40 Ukrainian military personnel to train on them in France.

Built by France’s partly state-owned arms maker Nexter, the CAESAR system is a 155mm howitzer mounted on a six-wheeled truck chassis, capable of firing shells at ranges of more than 40 kilometers (25 miles).

First let’s take a look at the CAESAR in action in the Donbass…

June 10, 2022 15:16 GMT Source: By RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service:

 

During our research for more information pertaining to the CAESAR system in Ukraine, Rybar Telegram channel which has been consistent and largely accurate in its military reporting so far, corroborated rumors that had been circulating for several days – confirming that two French CAESAR systems which had been previously shipped from Paris to Ukraine have since been resold by the latter, and eventually shipped to Russia, where they are now likely being studied and deconstructed by Russian military engineers, and who knows what else (they could even be spun-off into a new-improved product line).

On June 20, 2022, French lawyer Régis de Castelnau posted on Twitter an announcement that Russia had in fact acquired these two French CAESAR systems, in perfect condition, which were intended for Ukraine. The information seemed too broad at first, and was not fully confirmed until June 23, when a Russian firm Uralvagonzavod replied to Régis de Castelnau’s tweet on the French lawyer’s Telegram channel.

Uralvagonzavod’s reply to Régis de Castelnau’s tweet translates as followed:

“Hello, Mr Regis

Please convey our thanks to President Macron for the donation of the self-propelled guns.

This material is of course not tip-top… not like our MSTA-S!

But nevertheless, it will be useful. Send more – we’ll disassemble them”.

Of course, the sarcastic tone of the post raised some suspicions according to comments made by the Donbass Insider, who were still hesitant to confirm the information until June 29th when they could receive joint confirmation of the facts from not only Rybar, but also from French military sources.

In their latest article on the subject, the Donbass Insider unpacked Rybar’s telegram post which explains how Russia acquired two French CAESAR self-propelled artillery systems destined for Ukraine. As it turns out, of all the CAESAR guns shipped to Kyiv, not all of the 14 CAESAR units made it to the front lines after all. 

Indeed, three CAESAR artillery systems seemed to have been destroyed in the airstrike on Kurakhovo, and another was destroyed in the Kubansky Peninsula in the Odessa region.

Still, undoubtedly the most shocking revelation was that two CAESAR were sold for $120,000 each, a ridiculous price you might say considering that these self-propelled gun units are worth about 7 million euros each.

So two CAESAR self-propelled guns, estimated at 14 million euros, were resold by the Ukrainians to the Russians for $240,000. The French taxpayers will likely be outraged when finding out their money is being wasted in such a ridiculous fashion. 

Rybar, rightly so, reminded us how sending the CAESAR self-propelled guns to Ukraine was a form of madness, not least of all because the artillery systems France handed over to Kyiv were partially intended for Morocco under state contracts, adding that some were even removed from combat duty. We also learn in his post that the supply of these CAESAR self-propelled guns actually deprived several French units of their key artillery systems, suggesting a French unit was left with only one CAESAR to show for. 

There seems to be no end to NATO folly in Ukraine. By depleting our own armed forces in Europe to support a conflict that is partly due to the sabotage of the Minsk Peace Agreement of which French President François Hollande (and Macron after him) himself ignored all the tools and instruments at his fingertips which could have forced the Ukrainian government to comply with the said agreement, not to mention the Ukrainian authorities constant negative approach to pursuing a peaceful resolution to the 8 year-long civil war in the Donbass – makes this latest arms trafficking scandal very hard to swallow.

That said, it is not hard to understand that, if indeed the CAESAR did end up in the hands of the Russian military, the fire guidance and coordination system will definitely be of interest and likely retro-engineered by of one of Russia’s top scientific and military industry labs. Bravo Macron!

Should anyone be surprised by the fact that Ukrainian officers are selling western arms on the black market? Apparently not, as the Bulgarian Military online journal reports:

Levy also says that he believes the two self-propelled howitzers were resold with the help of an intermediary, a military dealer. Levy, however, has no evidence for his claims but refers to his league reasoning.

However, sales are a fact.

The feeling that corrupt Ukrainian servicemen are involved in the illegal arms trade to extract maximum profit is not from now, and it is not only about this case.

On June 2, BulgarianMilitary.com revealed the sale of at least one FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank guided missile system on the dark web for $30,000. The seller is unclear, but according to the information posted on the darknet, the location [where the system will be shipped or picked up from] is Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.

“Ukrops are selling Javelins on the darknet. The command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine resells equipment and weapons supplied by NATO to the Middle East and North Africa. Anyone with a TOR browser can buy this ATGM in the online store,” writes the pro-Russian Telegram channel ABS News.

Oh, and Interpol knows all about it too.

The West is now undermining international law

I would also like to direct readers to one of our recent articles entitled, Are France and NATO Shipping Depleted Uranium Weaponry Into Ukraine?” – where we exposed the very controversial use of depleted uranium munitions and shells in war theaters, including the ones now taking place in urban areas of this Ukraine conflict. Our research strongly suggests that depleted uranium material may be present within the CAESAR system, although it is not yet explicitly confirmed in the public domain documents we’ve seen thus far.  

It’s clear that aside from its destabilising potential for Europe and Eurasia, this latest multilateral proxy war experiment by NATO has the potential to completely undermine international law structures, and the question then remains: “Can France and the countries that supply arms to Ukraine be considered co-belligerents?”

Unpopular: France’s Macron barely clinging to power.

On Wednesday, March 2, 2022, President Emmanuel Macron in a recent televised address made a point of clarifying France’s position on the military offensive led by Moscow in Ukraine from February 24th, and declared:

“We are not at war with Russia.”

Let’s put this into a contemporary context: “The term co-belligerents does not exist in international law, since 1977, the year of the two Protocols additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions for the protection of victims of armed conflict, the term “party to the conflict” has been used in preference. “In general, to fight a war, you have to send combat troops,” concludes Julien Théron, a researcher at the French Institute of Technology and an expert on conflict and international security. “France didn’t do that during the Ukrainian conflict. Under international law, it is not at war with Russia at all.” (Source: France Info)

Now, of course that statement is correct in principle, but the question of perception is sometimes as important as the law itself, and so it is now for the nations, and each individual therein, to decide for themselves whether their countries procuring lethal weapons and sending them into a televised conflict at the border of Europe, supposedly in order to ‘end the conflict’, is an acceptable approach to securing peace and stability in the region. 

If you are supporting ‘peace at all cost’, then surely this current situation should not sit well with you.

How many more Ukrainian people, and particularly those tens of thousands of men (and some women too) conscripted into mandatory service by the Zelensky regime, need to die before NATO countries actually realise it is the Ukrainians – and not the Russians, who are paying the ultimate price of more war.

Wiser heads will contend that this conflict can only be deescalated via the diplomatic channels, and certainly not by sending more weapons which only benefits the western military industrial complex – who once more will be the only winner of this armed conflict.

Should the status quo in Ukraine continue, there are no positive outcomes for France. Macron was very disappointing during his first presidential mandate, and it seems things will be getting worse before they get better following his re-election in April 2022 for a second presidential mandate. Our hope now lies with the political courage of our so-called opposition (since Macron lost his absolute majority at the parliament after the recent results of the legislative election). We can only hope that Macron’s government and its warmongers will be stopped in the French Parliament once and for all.

READ MORE UKRAINE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Ukraine Files

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