Russian arms maker mocks Macron

More heavy weapons promised to Ukraine

Earlier reports indicated French CAESAR self-propelled howitzers were captured and sent to Russia’s tank plant

A leading Russian arms manufacturer has claimed it had studied French guns captured in Ukraine and found them lacking. The mocking comment suggested French President Emmanuel Macron should send more CAESAR howitzers to Kiev, so that more could find their way to Russia, armor maker Uralvagonzavod said on social media on Thursday.

France sent a handful of its CAESAR truck-mounted 155mm artillery guns to bolster Ukrainian forces against Russia. A French political commentator claimed this week that two of them were captured intact and sent to Russia, possibly to be reverse engineered. “Thank you, Macron,” Regis de Castelnau said in a tweet on Monday.

In its Thursday response, the Russian arms manufacturer appeared to confirm the claim – or at least clap back at its French competition. It responded to a copy of the tweet that de Castelnau had posted on his Telegram account.

“Please, send our thanks to President Macron for the gifted self-propelled guns,” the Uralvagonzavod account said in Russian. It jokingly added that the French weapons were “so-so,” unlike the Russian plant’s products, but said it could find a way to use the foreign hardware nevertheless: “Bring us more, we’ll dismantle (them).”

The remark, which referred to French President Emmanuel Macron, didn’t offer any evidence of the claim. There was no official confirmation that any CAESAR guns actually got into Russia’s hands or evidence that this was the case.

Western powers arming Ukraine have been reluctant to ship their more advanced weapon systems due to concern that Russia could capture and reverse engineer them.

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