Artillery vehicle

Ukrainian MP launches crowdfunding appeal to buy artillery to confront Putin ‘ruthlessly’ | Politics | New

Ukrainian MP Oleksi Goncharenko has launched a crowdfunding appeal to help fund his country’s efforts to resist Vladimir Putin’s invasion of his country. The MP, who previously sent back footage of a captured Russian tank, appealed for a self-propelled Howitzer artillery piece costing around £235,000.

The revelation came as Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told MPs in a statement in the House of Commons today that Britain’s new government would continue to provide arms and full diplomatic support to Ukraine, like this was guaranteed under the governments of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.

But other countries have sparked fury in Ukraine for failing to supply promised weapons for the conflict, including Germany which had changed its laws to send tanks but did not send any.

Mr Goncharenko, who praised the UK for its “outstanding support”, called Putin “ruthless” and a “war criminal”.

But he launched what is believed to be the first weapons crowdfunding for a war in a bid to help his country weather the winter of conflict.

The howitzer he is looking to buy will be a refurbished Soviet 2S1 Gvozdika.

It became as ubiquitous in the world as the T-54/55, but it was not a battle tank, even though the general public sees the same thing: tracks, a turret and a big gun.

Instead, it was the most-produced self-propelled gun of the Cold War, eclipsing all others, including NATO. It saw plenty of action in its widespread use by 41 countries and operators sing its introduction in the 1970s and counting is certainly not over. In Soviet nomenclature, 2S1 meant the second S model for self-propelled, its designation GRAU.

The army designation was SAU-122, and “Gvozdika” meaning “Carnation”, as a more popular surname.

This Soviet self-propelled howitzer had a long history of development that began in 1954. It entered service 15 years later and was mass-produced to become the main vehicle of its type in the Soviet inventory and the Warsaw Pact as well.

READ MORE: Russian evacuation order to Kherson betrays fear of Ukrainian advance

So far, about a quarter of the funds for the weapon have been raised.

Mr Goncharenko told Express.co.uk: “It is so heartwarming to see so much support for Ukraine from around the world.

“We are proud to fight on the front line to defend freedom in Europe, but we just need the weapons. Every pound donated for this howitzer will help save Ukrainian lives and achieve victory faster from which the whole world will benefit. “

But he backed criticism from some NATO allies for not providing weapons.

In September, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said: “Disappointing signals from Germany as Ukraine needs leopards and marders now – to liberate people and save them from genocide,” Kuleba said on Twitter, adding that there was “not a single rational argument as to why these weapons cannot be provided, only abstract fears and excuses.

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