IFV MARDER. PHOTO FROM FACEBOOK OF THE GERMAN EMBASSY IN KYIV
The American edition of the New York Times believes that recent statements and actions by the US and European countries regarding the supply of Patriot SAM systems and tanks indicate that the West has already begun to prepare Ukraine for repelling a possible new Russian offensive in winter or spring and future counterattacks.
Source: New York Times
Quote from NYT: “Ukraine is set on pushing forward with its own military offensive, either in the depth of winter or after the muddy spring season. Russia, too, is telegraphing a spring offensive, said a senior Western intelligence official, and Ukraine ‘doesn’t want them to catch their breath’ between now and when that intensified round of combat begins.”
Details: The publication reiterated that over the past few weeks, barriers to providing Ukraine with weapons have fallen one after another: first, the United States agreed to transfer a Patriot SAM system, then Germany promised to provide another Patriot battery, and for the first time ever, France, Germany and the United States each promised to send armoured combat vehicles to the battlefields in Ukraine.
The NYT says it now looks likely that Ukraine will receive modern tanks from its partners, “especially as its military has made unexpected advances and held out against withering assaults.”
In particular, experts recall the long battles for Bakhmut and the surrounding area, which the Russians have been trying to capture for months, suffering heavy losses, but not achieving significant success, as well as recent particularly fierce fighting in the nearby town of Soledar.
The publication says that the readiness of Western politicians to assist is now visible because there is not much time left to prepare Ukraine for a possible new Russian offensive on the anniversary of the war [24 February] or in the spring.
The NYT emphasises that the West is well aware of this.
Camille Grand, a defence expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, noted that Moscow is apparently mobilising hundreds of thousands of new conscripts for its offensive.
He said this has partly pushed forward the debate about tanks, “to enable the Ukrainian forces to achieve significant progress now.”
Ukraine has repeatedly stated that armoured vehicles will play a key role in the battles for control of cities and towns in the eastern regions bordering Russia, for which fierce battles are taking place. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said that to change the situation at the front, Ukraine needs about 300 Western tanks and 600 Western armoured combat vehicles.
“Since the war began nearly a year ago, the West has resisted giving some of its most potent weapons to Ukraine, fearing that would bring NATO into direct conflict with Russia. But seeing Ukraine’s determination to resist, little prospect of peace talks anytime soon, and a stalemate on the battlefield, NATO allies are relenting,” the NYT concluded.
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