“Georgia refuses to return the weapons that Kiev supplied it in the context of its previous conflict with Russia”. This is the accusation of Andrei Kasyanov, the Ukrainian charge d’affaires in the Caucasian country. According to the newspaper The Odessa newspaper, Kiev actually asked Tbilisi to return the two Buk-M1-2 anti-aircraft missile systems to it. Ukraine had sent these two technologies to Georgia to help against Moscow during the 2008 Russo-Georgian War.
The Buk (beech in Russian) is a medium-range multipurpose mobile anti-aircraft system that entered service in 1998. This Russian technology is intended for the defense of ground forces, armored vehicles and vital points (bridges, communication centers, power plants stations, ports). This device can also operate in an environment of intense electromagnetic and nuclear interference. Specifically, the system is made up of four elements: an acquisition radar capable of engaging six targets simultaneously, a command post, a firing platform with four launch pads and a firing/loading system.
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All these components are each mounted on a tracked tractor-fitter-launcher, which gives them great mobility. All these vehicles are constantly exchanging the data they collect, which makes it possible to form a unified defense system that covers a large area in the sky. Thus, if a Bouk’s radar fails, it can use its neighbor’s radar in the network. To intercept and destroy detected targets, Russian technology uses two types of missiles, 9М38M1 and 9М317. These devices can destroy an aircraft at a distance of 45 kilometers and a ballistic missile at a distance of 20 kilometers.
Andrei Kasyanov said that it was consistent for Ukraine to ask Georgia to return these two Buk systems. Moreover, the Ukrainian diplomat clarified that Kiev also asked Tbilisi to provide him Javelin anti-tank launchers American made. “Not only was this move approved by the United States, but Tbilisi also received an offer from Washington to replace its stockpile of Javelins with newer systems,” the Ukrainian charge d’affaires said.
Tbilisi has remained deaf to the requests of Ukrainian diplomats. Since the Moscow offensive launched in February 2022, Georgia – a country bordering Russia – has preferred to remain neutral. On February 25, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said his state would not join Western sanctions against Moscow. Furthermore, this Caucasian country has rejected calls from Kyiv to open a new front against the Russian Federation by attacking it directly. Georgia’s prime minister, as well as other senior officials, said such a move would only harm the country and go against Georgia’s national interests.
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