Ukraine’s armed forces have used Australian Bushmaster vehicles to retake vital territory from Russia.
Ukraine’s Minister of Defence, Oleksii Reznikov, revealed in a post to Twitter on Monday that the Aussie-built military vehicles have helped the country’s defence forces take the Oskil River and have been used to liberate the northeastern city of Kharkiv.
Australia has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine’s efforts to fend off Vladimir Putin’s invading army, pledging more than $300million in military aid including 40 Bushmaster vehicles since the war broke out in February.
‘For the sake of protecting Freedom, it traveled half the world, from Australia to Ukraine. 19,300 km across the Indian Ocean,’ Mr Reznikov wrote of the vehicles.
‘Thanks to ‘Bushmaster’#UAarmy came to the Oskil river & continue to liberate Kharkiv region.’
Soldiers from Ukraine’s 80th air assault brigade were seen in a video released on Monday driving an Australian Bushmaster vehicle through a rural locality that had just been liberated
Mr Reznikov thanked his Australian counterpart, Richard Marles, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Miroshnichenko, along with the Australian people for sending Bushmasters to the battlefield.
A clip was shared in the tweet that sees soldiers from Ukraine’s 80th air assault brigade driving a Bushmaster through a rural area that was recently liberated.
A soldier seated behind the machine gun mounted on top of the vehicle shouts: ‘Glory to Ukraine.’
Another soldier standing behind him waves his arms in the air and says, ‘Glory to the heroes’.
The man filming the clip proceeds to thank Australia.
The Bushmaster, nicknamed ‘The Bushy’, is an 11-tonne armoured military vehicle built in the Victorian city of Bendigo and is designed to deploy up to 10 soldiers to the battlefield.
It is designed to protect passengers from land mines and other explosives.
In the clip, a Ukrainian soldier seated behind the machine gun mounted on top of the vehicle shouts, ‘Glory to Ukraine’, while another soldier standing behind him waves his arms in the air and says, ‘Glory to the heroes’
Ukraine’s Defence Minister, Oleksii Reznikov (pictured) said in a post to Twitter that the Aussie-built armoured vehicles had helped Ukraine’s defence force retake vital territory from Russia
The Bushmaster (pictured) is an 11-tonne armoured military vehicle and is proving very popular with Ukrainian defenders since Australian sent 20 to the besieged country in April
Ukraine forces launched a counteroffensive in late August to retake Russian-occupied territory that had been previously lost to Moscow.
President Volodymyr Zelinsky confirmed last Friday that more than 30 cities in Kharkiv Oblast in eastern Ukraine had been liberated.
Armed forces have kept pushing north in the Kharkiv region and advancing to its south and east, Ukraine’s army chief says, a day after their rapid surge forward drove Russia to abandon its main bastion in the area.
Ukraine’s general staff said early on Monday that its forces had recaptured more than 20 towns and villages in just the past day.
It came after Russia acknowledged it was abandoning Izium, its main stronghold in northeastern Ukraine, with soldiers leaving behind ammunition and equipment as they fled the city.
Ukraine forces launched a counteroffensive in late August to retake Russian-occupied territory. More than 30 cities and towns in Kharkiv have since been retaken (pictured, the mayor of Derhachi in Kharkiv, Vyacheslav Zadorenko, tears up a Russian flag as he’s surrounded by Ukrainian soldiers)
President Zelenskiy hailed the offensive as a potential breakthrough in the war and said further gains could occur in winter (pictured, residents greet Ukrainian soldiers in a location given as Kozacha Lopan, Kharkiv Region)
President Zelenskiy hailed the offensive as a potential breakthrough in the war and said further gains could occur in winter if Ukraine received more powerful weapons.
He commended the military in a video address late on Saturday, saying it has reclaimed more than 770 square miles (2,000 square km) of territory so far this month.
Ukraine’s chief commander, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, claimed in a post on Telegram that advances were being made to the south, east and north.
He added that Ukraine’s armed forces were now only 50km’s away from the Russian border.
A Bushmaster PMV is loaded into a C-17 Globemaster which is headed for Ukraine on April 8
What is the Bushmaster?
The Bushmaster Protected Military Vehicle (PMV) – or Infantry Mobility Vehicle – is an Australian built, four-wheel drive armoured vehicle that has seen action in several wars.
Nicknamed ‘The Bushy,’ the PMV is designed to transport troops safely through war zones and to deploy them on the front-lines.
- First produced: 1997
- Number built: 1,195
- Cost: $500,000 (AUD)
- Crew: 1 driver, 9 passengers
- Weight: 11 – 15 tonnes
- Designed by: Australian Defence Industries (ADI)
- Currently produced by: Thales Australia (formerly ADI)
- Used in: War in Afghanistan, Iraq War, East Timor, Golan Heights, Iraqi Civil War, Syrian Civil War, Northern Mali Conflict
- Used by: Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Fiji, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, The Netherlands. (Several others, including the United States , France and Spain, have expressed an interest)
- Variants: Several versions of ‘The Bushy’ have been produced. These include: Troop, Command, Air Defence, Ambulance, Assault Pioneer, Mortar variant, Direct Fire Weapons, General Maintenance.