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Kyiv Auto Shop adapts captured Russian weapons to Ukrainians

This general view shows a Russian tank in the town of Irpin, west of kyiv, on March 4, 2022.

This general view shows a Russian tank in the town of Irpin, west of kyiv, on March 4, 2022.
Photo: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP (Getty Images)

Russia continued its invasion of Ukraine, a country with a military budget smaller than that of the city-state Singapore – but the Ukrainians have been resourceful in their acquisition of military supplies. Now, Reuters reports that an auto shop has stopped repairing cars and is instead adapting Russian military weapons for use by the Ukrainian army.

Here’s a bit more of the story:

Oleksandre FedchenKo said he brainstormed with staff at his auto repair shop after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine last month, wondering how they could help overwhelmed local forces.

“It turns out that there are people working in our store who know how guns work,” he said.

Ukrainian forces have stripped large amounts of Russian heavy machine guns and other weapons from armored vehicles they destroyed in the three weeks since the Kremlin launched what he called a special military operation in Ukraine.

The biggest problem is that, while Russia has a formidable wheeled military force, Ukrainian soldiers fight mostly on foot. A massive machine gun from an armored vehicle obviously cannot be used by a single person walking the streets, so Fedchenko assembled a team of welders and engineers, provided them with sketches of how he thought the armament could be changed, and gave the experts the space to get the job done.

This is yet another example of Ukrainian ingenuity in the face of this ongoing conflict. A Russian electric vehicle company which subcontracted its main components to a Ukrainian company had to deal with chargers displaying anti-Russian messages. Ukrainian truckers started transport emergency goods to conflict-torn areas. A Ukrainian sailor would have tried to sink the yacht of his Russian boss. And there are many stories of average Ukrainians farmers who have just acquired Russian tanks. It makes sense that they also start converting weapons.