The Russian army destroyed five Greek BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles immediately after being delivered to Ukraine.
The vehicles were destroyed on October 28, the day Oxi Day is celebrated every year when the Russian military repelled an offensive by Ukrainian troops at Berestovo in the Kharkiv region, the Iskra news portal reported.
In addition to five BMPs destroyed, 150 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, while one tank, four armored vehicles and nine pickup trucks were destroyed, according to the report.
Two of the Greek RM-70 multiple rocket launch systems, operating mainly in the Kherson region, were also destroyed,
Greek news portal ProNews added that one of the BMPs still bore the emblem of the Greek Armed Forces.
A video was also published showing a “Greek” BMP-1 destroyed in Kherson by Russian artillery.
In May, the Greek Defense Ministry said Athens would supply Russian-made BMP-1s to Ukraine in exchange for German Marders vehicles. Initially, the deal included about 122 units of BMP-1 vehicles.
However, in June Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Athens would deliver a “relatively small” amount of armored military equipment.
On September 16, the Greek Ministry of Defense announced that Greece would send 40 BMP-1s to Ukraine, receiving the same number of German armored vehicles in return.
Meanwhile, Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou flew to Ukraine unannounced on Thursday to express her solidarity.
Sakellaropoulou, who was accompanied by National Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.
“Greece will never recognize the illegal annexation of areas in Ukraine that Russia is trying to impose,” she said. “We won’t forget the [war] crimes committed in Mariupol against its innocent and peaceful inhabitants, a city with a Greek name and with a large population of Greek origin.”
The Greek president also strongly condemned the “unacceptable Russian attacks aimed at destroying critical urban infrastructure in Ukraine before next winter”, which constitute war crimes, as they target civilians.
“Greece strongly supports the attribution of responsibility to those responsible for these crimes,” she stressed.
Calling the talks with Sakellaropoulou “very important”, Zelensky noted that Ukraine is working with the Greek side to end Russia’s criminal attack as soon as possible so that Ukrainians can return to normal life.
“For this reason, we will develop collaboration in the defence, political and humanitarian sectors,” he added.
During her tour of the country, the Greek president “saw a lot of what is happening all over Ukraine today, not just at the front,” Zelensky said.
He thanked the Greek president for the first batch of BMP armored vehicles and said the two presidents discussed Greece’s ability to help Ukraine restore its territorial integrity.
Sakellaropoulou visits destroyed cities in Ukraine
Earlier, the Greek president visited several Ukrainian towns that suffered from Russian bombing, including Bucha, located northwest of Kyiv where a massacre of civilians took place in April.
Photographic and video evidence of the massacre emerged on April 1, 2022, after Russian forces withdrew from the city.
Photos showed corpses of civilians lined up with their hands tied behind their backs. The footage was taken at close range, which apparently provided evidence that summary executions had taken place.
According to local authorities, 458 bodies were found in the city, including nine children under the age of eighteen; among the victims, 419 people were killed by weapons and thirty-nine seem to have died of natural causes, possibly related to the occupation.
Joe Biden had called for Vladimir Putin to be tried for war crimes following the killings of civilians in the city.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visited Kyiv in October and reaffirmed Athens’ support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
“We reiterate that Greece will continue to stand by Ukraine and the Greek community in Ukraine,” Dendias said when meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.
In September, Greece agreed to send forty of its Soviet-made BMP-1 IFVs to Ukraine. Athens has reached an agreement with Germany that it will receive the same number of Germany’s forty more modern Marder IFVs.
Greece, which has joined its NATO allies in supporting Ukraine against the Russian invasion, has already sent military equipment to Kyiv, including rockets, assault rifles and anti-tank missiles.
This post was last modified on November 11, 2022 10:57 AM