Beware the Kracken

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Ukraine’s Kraken Special Forces and how this all-volunteer fighting force has been taking names and kicking Russian ass around Kharkiv. It was they who were called into action when Russian Marines were caught on CCTV murdering civilians in cold blood.

Kraken Regiment members in Ruska Lozova. The soldier front and center is sporting a patch representing the great state of Texas. In other photos, some have been wearing subdued US Flag patches on their uniform. Image Credit: Wojciech Grzedzinski

The Kraken are quickly gaining notoriety and support. Last month, the government of Estonia provided them with four Alvis 4 armored personnel carriers. The Alvis is a UK-made version of the South African Mamba. They are somewhat bulky-looking but mine-resistant vehicles that were once often seen patrolling along the South African borders and in the former Rhodesia. The underside of the vehicle is armor-plated and slopes in such that any blast encountered would be directed away from the occupants inside, of which it can hold nine.

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 their weight (6.8 tons), the Alvis can be surprisingly agile and is capable of climbing a 60% gradient. It has a top speed of about 65 mph on a hard road surface.