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KIEV, December 6. /TASS/. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has issued orders to revive the Maxim machine gun’s status as a government-issue weapon (its first prototype was developed by Hiram Stevens Maxim back in 1883) and gave the green light to its use in military operations in the country’s southeast, the head of the Ukrainian army’s weaponry department, Nikolai Shvetsov, announced.
In an interview to the Uryadovy Kurier (Government Courier) daily Shvetsov said this water-cooled automatic weapon (more precisely, its Russian version that reportedly began to be manufactured in 1910) "is meant for hitting manpower and fire emplacements at distances of up to one kilometer."
"Some army units have already been using it at their own initiative at strongholds and roadblocks as a means of enhancing firepower," he added.
Some Ukrainian media speculate, not without a pinch of bitter humor, that this second advent of the Maxim gun should more likely than not entail the re-emergence of Maxim-armed troika type horse-drawn "tachanka" carriages - a weapon of choice for both the Red and White armies during the Russian Civil War that followed the revolutions of the early 20th century. The tachankas were also widely and ceaselessly employed by self-styled paramilitary anarchists and like-minded guerilla gangs that in those days reigned the vast flatland expanses of southeastern Ukraine, where speed and quick maneuvering were of the essence.
Ukraine today marks the 25th anniversary of its armed forces. The holiday was officially established by the Ukrainian parliament in 1993. The law on the creation of the Ukrainian armed forces was passed on December 6, 1991. The Ukrainian armed forces consist of ground and airborne troops and its Navy.