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Turkiye supplied Ukraine with heavy machine guns against Russia - report

October 3, 2023 at 8:31 pm

Ukrainian soldiers of the infantry unit from the Territorial Defense Unit (TRO) 62nd Battalion of the 103rd Brigade attend the military training at the trenches as Russia-Ukraine war continues in South Frontline of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukraine on 23 August 2023 [Andre Alves – Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye has supplied Ukraine with heavy machine guns in its ongoing war against Russia, in a revelation which sheds further light on Ankara’s quiet support for Kyiv.

According to the London-based news outlet, Middle East Eye, which cited two anonymous sources familiar with the sale, Turkiye recently began supplying Canik M2 heavy machine gun models – from the private Turkish arms manufacturer, Canik – for apparent use by ground troops along with armoured vehicles.

Ukraine signed several contracts with Canik in March, according to one of the sources, with the second source saying that over 600 of the guns have already been delivered to the war-ridden country to be used by services such as the Ukrainian military and intelligence.

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“The deal envisions a much larger number delivered than 600; more will be sent in coming months”, that unnamed source was reported as saying. “We are aware that the machine guns aren’t a game changer for the war against Russia. But does it shoot? It shoots. So it is a big help.”

Each heavy gun is reportedly estimated to cost between $15,000 and $20,000, meaning that the potential value of the current delivery surpasses $10 million.

Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year, Turkiye has allowed the supply of armed drones, laser-guided missiles, protective gear and armoured vehicles in a somewhat subtle support for the embattled nation.

Despite that, Ankara has successfully maintained positive relations with both Moscow and Kyiv, positioning itself as a mediator force and a largely neutral player.