Ukrainian Kraken special forces receive new armored vehicles
Beware the Kraken
A few weeks ago I wrote about Ukraine’s Kraken special forces and how this all-volunteer combat force took names and kicked Russians around Kharkiv. They were the ones called into action when Russian Marines were caught on CCTV murdering civilians in cold blood.
The Kraken are rapidly gaining notoriety and support. Last month, the Estonian government provided them with four Alvis 4 armored personnel carriers. The Alvis is a British version of the South African Mamba. They are somewhat bulky but mine-resistant vehicles that were once often seen patrolling along the South African borders and in former Rhodesia. The underside of the vehicle is armored and angled such that any explosion encountered would be directed away from the occupants inside, nine of whom it can hold.
The main body is made of steel and is resistant to small arms fire and shrapnel. The commander’s hatch can serve as a mount for a machine gun. Despite its weight (6.8 tonnes), the Alvis can be surprisingly nimble and is capable of climbing a 60% grade. It has a top speed of around 65 mph on a hard road surface.
Here we see the APCs marked with the Ukrainian flag and the Kraken special unit symbol. Video courtesy of YouTube and Ukraine Today
To be fair, the Kraken unit could probably use additional vehicles, gear, and weapons. There’s more than a little DIY feel to their hardware. This may be because they are technically not part of their country’s armed forces. However, they depend on the Ministry of Defence. It is a paramilitary group supported by the government.
Until they got the APCs, the Kraken rode into battle in their SUVs, pickup trucks, and even ATVs. One of their battle wagons, a new Nissan Murano, is spray painted dull green bumper to bumper, including the wheels. The camouflage of their weapons is often done by themselves. This is shown in the image of the soldiers above. The gentleman on the left used questionably bright shades of green on his weapon.
But those things aren’t nearly as important as the fact that they’re highly motivated fighters who hone their fighting skills by actually fighting. These are people who run towards the sound of gunfire without worrying about their own safety. When asked why they fight so hard, these citizen soldiers are quick to explain that they are fighting for their homeland, their way of life, and their very freedom.