Artillery price

Ukraine: Canada sent heavy artillery to Ukraine


Canada has sent a number of Canadian Armed Forces M777 howitzers and ammunition to Ukraine’s Security Forces, fulfilling the Prime Minister’s promise to send heavy artillery to the beleaguered country.

In a press release on Friday, the federal government said it had also provided a “significant number” of Carl Gustaf anti-armour munitions.

The M777 towed howitzer is capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 30 kilometers, the Ministry of National Defense said.

It is the main artillery gun of the Canadian Army, firing 155 millimeter shells. Thirty-seven of these weapons were acquired in the United States.

The equipment provided is part of the inventory of the armed forces and will be replenished, the government said.

Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy released a list of equipment he said his army needed to fight Russia, including 155 millimeter heavy artillery guns and ammunition.

A spokesman for Defense Minister Anita Anand declined to confirm further details on Friday, saying the Ukrainians had asked their allies to be careful about the information being shared.

The government does not say how many howitzers or how much ammunition have been supplied to Ukraine, or how much it will cost to replace them.

On Friday, the President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress expressed his gratitude for Canada’s continued support.

“Ukraine defends Europe’s freedom in the face of Russia’s genocidal war,” Alexandra Chyczij said in a statement.

“We are grateful that Canada and its allies continue to provide the weapons and equipment that Ukraine’s brave armed forces need to defeat Russia.

The Liberal government has already dipped into the inventory of the Canadian Armed Forces to provide lethal aid to the Ukrainian army.

However, unlike some of the weapons already given to Ukraine, the M777s are still in use. In response to the Russian attack, the government recently deployed an M777 unit to reinforce a Canadian-led NATO battlegroup in Latvia.

Retired Lieutenant General Andrew Leslie, who served as an artillery officer, said in an interview this week that the weapons would be vulnerable to Russian assault.

“The M777 gun crews are in the open and they are being towed by light-skinned vehicles,” he said. “So they are very vulnerable to fighter jets to attack helicopters and relatively sophisticated forces like the Russians.”

The federal government announced on Friday that it is finalizing contracts for the purchase of commercial armored vehicles that will be sent to Ukraine as soon as possible.

He is also negotiating a service contract for the maintenance and repair of specialized drone cameras that have already been sent.

The government earmarked an additional $500 million in the recently released budget to provide military aid to Ukraine, having committed $118 million in equipment since January.

Earlier Friday, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Russia should be expelled from the G20 for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

It was a key talking point at meetings this week of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Nations in Washington, D.C.

Freeland said Russia has no place at the table of countries trying to maintain prosperity as its illegal war in Ukraine has strained the global economy.

But in his comments at a closing news conference alongside his Ukrainian counterpart and International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan, Freeland hinted the sentiment was not unanimous.

China opposed Russia’s withdrawal from the group.

“You can’t be a poacher and a game warden at the same time,” Freeland said of why Russia should be kicked out.

“You don’t invade and try to take over another country. Having violated this principle and continuing to violate it with an ongoing war, it is impossible to speak of international collaboration, international cooperative efforts with Russia.

Freeland, along with other allies, left the G20 meeting when the Russian delegation sought to speak. She said that Canada would not participate in any meeting in which Russia participated.

The invasion lasted nearly two months, killing thousands and driving 5.1 million people to flee Ukraine.

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This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 22, 2022.