Ben Wallace: Russian pilots are ‘taping basic GPS devices to their dashboards’ in Ukraine

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Russian pilots fighting in Ukraine are sticking standard GPS devices to their dashboards because they cannot rely on their fighter jets’ built-in navigation systems, Britain’s defense secretary has revealed.

Speaking on Monday, Ben Wallace painted a picture of a Russian army under-equipped for its ongoing war in Ukraine, now entering its 11th week.

He said Russia has failed on multiple fronts, outlining an “indictment” that should be “laid at the feet” of Moscow’s generals, including poor preparation and planning, inadequate equipment and support, and moral corruption.

He said crashed fighter jets have often been found with paper maps dating back to the 1980s, despite Moscow parade Monday with its alleged next-generation equipment to mark Russia’s “Victory Day” on May 9.

“Almost none of their vehicles incorporate situational awareness and digital combat management,” Mr Wallace said during a speech at the National Army Museum in London. ‘Vehicles are often found with paper maps of Ukraine from the 1980s.’

“GPS receivers were found taped to the dashboards of downed Russian SU-34s so that the pilots knew where they were because of the poor quality of their own systems.”

Russian pilots fighting in Ukraine are sticking basic GPS devices to their dashboards because they cannot rely on their jet fighters' built-in navigation systems, Britain's defense secretary revealed during a speech at London's National Army Museum (pictured)

Russian pilots fighting in Ukraine are sticking basic GPS devices to their dashboards because they cannot rely on their jet fighters’ built-in navigation systems, Britain’s defense secretary revealed during a speech at London’s National Army Museum (pictured)

SU-34s are Soviet-era fighter jets that have been in use since the 1990s — several of which have been reportedly shot down in Ukraine.

“As a result, while Russia has large amounts of artillery and armor that they like to parade, they can’t use it for combined weapons maneuvers and simply resort to massive indiscriminate barrage,” Wallace added.

“Their limited stocks of air-delivered precision weapons, evidenced by a sharp drop in use after the second week, has led the Air Force to revert to dropping imprecise dumb ammunition into urban areas as well.”

It is widely known that Putin expected his forces to advance quickly through Ukraine and overthrow the country’s elected government within days.

Instead, his forces are embroiled in a protracted conflict — which shows no signs of abating. Ukraine is supplied by its Western allies, and intelligence updates have suggested Moscow’s armies are running out of equipment.

After unexpected fierce resistance forced the Kremlin to give up its attempt to storm Kiev a month ago, Moscow’s forces have concentrated on capturing the Donbas, Ukraine’s eastern industrial region.

But the fighting there has gone back and forth, village by village.

Wallace said: “GPS receivers were found taped to the dashboards of downed Russian SU-34s so that the pilots knew where they were because of the poor quality of their own systems.” Pictured: A Soviet-era Russian SU-24 fighter jet, seen on April 20, 2022

This handout photo, released by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on April 3, 2022, shows the burning wreckage of a downed Russian fighter jet in the Kharkov region.  Wallace said Ukrainian troops found 1980s paper maps in downed Russian planes

This handout photo, released by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on April 3, 2022, shows the burning wreckage of a downed Russian fighter jet in the Kharkov region.  Wallace said Ukrainian troops found 1980s paper maps in downed Russian planes

This handout photo, released by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on April 3, 2022, shows the burning wreckage of a downed Russian fighter jet in the Kharkov region. Wallace said Ukrainian troops found 1980s paper maps in downed Russian planes

Putin celebrated his country’s biggest patriotic holiday on Monday without any major new battlefield success in Ukraine to boast.

The Russian leader oversaw a Victory Day parade in Moscow’s Red Square and watched as troops marched in formation and military equipment rolled by in celebration of the Soviet Union’s role in the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.

While Western analysts in recent weeks had widely expected Putin to use the holiday to herald some sort of victory in Ukraine or herald an escalation, he didn’t. Instead, he tried to justify the war again as a necessary response to what he portrayed as a hostile Ukraine.

“The danger was increasing day by day,” Putin said. “Russia has responded preventively to aggression. It was forced, timely and the only right decision.’

He stayed away from the details of the battlefield, forgot about the potentially crucial battle for the vital southern port of Mariupol, and didn’t even utter the word “Ukraine.”

Wallace accused Putin and his “totally complicit” generals of “hijacking” the memory of Russian troops who ousted the Nazis in World War II.

Pictured: The twisted metal from destroyed Russian tanks can be seen in a tank graveyard in Bucha

Pictured: The twisted metal from destroyed Russian tanks can be seen in a tank graveyard in Bucha

Pictured: The twisted metal from destroyed Russian tanks can be seen in a tank graveyard in Bucha

He also brushed aside that the dictator had already suffered a prolonged defeat as his precision weapons run out and he can no longer resupply.

In Moscow, Putin claimed his attack on the Russian neighbor was necessary to fend off “an absolutely unacceptable threat right next to our borders.”

He reportedly added during the Victory Day celebrations that the West is “preparing to invade our country, including Crimea.”

But, asked by journalists after a speech at London’s National Army Museum in Chelsea, southwest London, Mr Wallace flatly denied that NATO and Western allies ever planned to attack Russia.

“President Putin has been making some fairytale claims for months and years,” the minister said.

“If it wasn’t so tragic it would be amusing, but it isn’t.

“One of his claims is that he is surrounded. NATO accounts for 6% of its land border. That is not surrounded if only 6 percent of your land border consists of NATO countries.

“I think he believes what he wants to believe: a slight glow of despair. But let me say categorically: NATO, Britain and Eastern Europe do not intend to invade Russia and have never done so.’

Wallace accused the Russian regime of “mirroring (the) fascism and tyranny” of Nazi Germany while the parade in Moscow celebrating Hitler’s victory over Hitler’s troops was underway.

The defense minister also said that Russia’s suffering under the Soviets was being used “as it is today, to cover up the inadequacy of those who rule behind the Kremlin walls in security and comfort.”

“Fear and cunning then dictated behavior, and today’s Russian armed forces still bear that Soviet imprint — the imprint of amorality and corruption,” he said.

“They are the ones who really offend the memory of the Immortal Regiment. So let’s mention the absurdity of Russian generals who shine in their neat parade uniforms, weighed down by the golden braid and glittering metals.

Russian President Vladimir Putin watches a military parade on Victory Day, which marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, on Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin watches a military parade on Victory Day, which marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, on Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin watches a military parade on Victory Day, which marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, on Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2022

In his speech, Putin steered clear of the details of the battlefield, not mentioning the potentially crucial battle for the vital southern port of Mariupol or even uttering the word “Ukraine.”

They are wholly complicit in Putin’s hijacking of the proud history of defending against the relentless invasion, fighting off fascism and sacrificing themselves for a higher cause.

“And now they are the ones who inflict needless suffering in the service of humble gangsterism and for them, and for Putin, there can be no day of victory, only dishonor and sure defeat in Ukraine.”

Responding to questions from the media after the speech, Mr Wallace said: “He (Vladimir Putin) is running out of precision stock pretty quickly.

“You know, that’s the lesson for all of us. I mean, we must not forget that they teach us lessons, unfortunately at the expense of what is happening in Ukraine.

“We all have very complex weapons that, oddly enough, don’t take a few days to replace, it can take months.

“If you fire them all like Russia has, they face a real challenge and I think in the long run my point about ‘has Putin already won or lost in the long run’, you know, Putin trying those armed forces will be incredibly difficult. A lot of the parts come from the West, he can’t touch them.’

Wallace’s speech came after Secretary of State Liz Truss accused Russia of war crimes over the bombing of a school in eastern Ukraine where civilians were hiding.

Up to 60 people are feared dead after the school in Bilohorivka in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk region was bombed and caught fire on Saturday.

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