Ukraine turned a Soviet antiaircraft gun into a deadly ground weapon that can kill dozens of soldiers at a time, report says

  • A Ukrainian unit is modifying decades-old Soviet-era antiaircraft guns.

  • The Daily Beast reported the truck-mounted modified gun could kill dozens of Russians at a time.

  • Ukraine is trying to update and create new weapons to reduce its reliance on imports from the West.

Ukrainian soldiers have turned a Soviet-era antiaircraft gun into a fast-moving ground weapon that can kill dozens of Russian soldiers at a time, the Daily Beast reported.

The Artillery Battery Unit of Ukraine's 241st Brigade had mounted Soviet-era KS-19 antiaircraft guns onto the back of trucks, the report said, so that they could be transported into and out of the fighting.

The unit spent three months taking the guns apart and rebuilding them onto a mobile platform, the Daily Beast reported.

The resulting weapon was one that could hit targets spread out up to 328 feet apart and could kill dozens of soldiers with one blast, the report said.

Evegeny Iitvin, a sergeant in the unit, told the Beast that in just three days, one of the guns had "already destroyed 1,000" Russian soldiers.

The KS-19 was first introduced in 1947, a few years after World War II ended, Business Insider's Jake Epstein previously reported.

Despite Ukraine's Western allies giving it weapons and ammunition, many of the weapons Ukraine uses against Russia are relics from the Soviet Union.

Russia is also using decades-old equipment in Ukraine.

The 241st Brigade got four KS-19s in March, the Daily Beast reported.

It added that the unit was also equipping the machines with electronic tablets, costing $8,000. The tablets worked with a drone and operator to track and target Russian forces, the report said.

Iitvin told the outlet that the project also involved purchasing four trucks. The report said the money came from the soldiers themselves, donors, and friends.

Iitvin said Ukraine's government couldn't afford to give individual units such large sums of money for projects.

Ukraine has become increasingly invested in making its own weaponry as its Western allies have delayed providing some weapons and, Ukraine and many experts say, have not given enough to properly push back Russia.

Ukraine is trying to ramp up its own production of missiles, drones, and ammunition.

Iitvin told the Beast that "if Biden provided weapons, I would not need these guns."

Ukrainian soldiers have had to lean on crowdfunding to get drones, night vision goggles, medical supplies, and other items they say are critical to the war effort.

Ukraine is also worried about donor fatigue from the countries that back it, as well as the impact of other factors like next year's US presidential election.

Read the original article on Business Insider