In an interesting turn of events, images from the Ukrainian battlefield show a rare and futuristic F2000 assault rifle in the hands of a soldier. 

Photos that appeared on Twitter show a Ukrainian soldier reclining with the assault rifle in his hand. Another image doing rounds on social media has three Ukrainian soldiers holding polymer-clad rifles in front of a pick-up truck. However, questions linger over who supplied the defending troops with these small weapons as there are no known verified reports about any such donations.  

 

 

These weapons are being manufactured by Belgian company FN Herstal since 2001, to meet the need for a modern and modular assault rifle, reported The Drive. The rifles can be tailored with add-ons depending on the intended mission. 

That the F2000s designed for use in countries like Slovenia have visibly different characteristics proves that the supplier of the assault rifle to Ukraine is Belgium, the original manufacturer. Besides these two nations, these weapons are used in Poland and Spain too. The remaining known buyers of the F2000s are in the Middle East and Asia, which are not known to be among countries that have donated weapons to Ukrainian forces. 

Earlier reports had said that Ukraine received 10,000 rifles from Belgium, including SCAR-L and FNC assault rifles. But, there was no mention of F2000 assault rifles being in the package. 

The fact that the FNC assault rifles too are manufactured by FN Herstal adds strength to the claim that Belgium had a hand in the sudden appearance of the F2000s on Ukrainian battlefields. As the F2000s are being replaced by the FN SCAR-L, it would only be logical to send them to Ukraine without concerns about stock depletion.

Whatever the case may be, this highlights the strange ways in which Ukrainians source weapons. Ukrainian volunteer territorial defense forces were earlier seen using a varied array of guns that individuals had sourced themselves. The Drive report said there are rumors of private parties buying weapons to equip volunteer forces.

As for the specifications, the F2000 has a compact bullpup layout wherein the action and the chamber are located behind the trigger. This reduces the length of the rifle and makes it an ideal rifle choice for ambidextrous shooters. 

A Ukranian serviceman walks in the village of Mala Rogan, east of Kharkiv, after Ukrainian troops retook the village A Ukranian serviceman walks in the village of Mala Rogan, east of Kharkiv, after Ukrainian troops retook the village Photo: AFP / Aris Messinis