Western-style tanks will significantly improve Ukraine’s forces, but training and a logistical chain are necessary.
The USA and Germany are delaying providing Ukraine with modern tanks M-1 Abrams and Leopard due to service and logistics issues.
This is reported by the publication Politico with reference to sources.
The publication writes that the American-made M-1 Abrams and German-made Leopard tanks will be a powerful blow that will help the Ukrainian military to regain and hold more territory, compared to the old Soviet tanks that they are currently using.
However, senior national security officials in both countries are reluctant to provide the tanks because of training and logistical issues, according to US officials, Ukrainian advisers and congressional aides.
According to the ex-commander of US ground forces in Europe, Ben Godges, Western-style tanks will significantly improve Ukraine’s forces, but the necessary training and logistics chain – the M-1 division can consume up to 600,000 gallons of fuel per day – can hinder Ukraine’s advance.
For example, the M-1 is a completely different system than the Soviet-era tanks currently in use in Ukraine, and requires significant maintenance and logistical support.
One of the sources reported that it is quite a difficult task to deliver to Ukraine not only American-made tanks, but also spare parts for their maintenance, because “you don’t want to give them something that will break down, run out of gas, and they won’t be able to refuel it “.
According to the official, Leopards may be more suitable for combat operations, as they are similar to tanks already used by Ukraine and require less fuel than Abrams. However, Germany has repeatedly rejected Ukraine’s requests for tanks, and Defense Minister Khrystyna Lambrecht recently said that Berlin had agreed with its NATO partners not to take such actions “unilaterally.”
As Politico writes, this dispute about tanks is the latest skirmish in the arms dispute between the West and Ukraine. At each stage, the US hesitated for months before providing one or another weapon – first Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, then highly mobile artillery missile systems – for fear that they would become a “red line” that could provoke Russia to a new escalation, then changed its mind and weapons were transferred as the war progressed and battlefield needs changed.
Kiev’s request for Western-style tanks was made before the latest counteroffensive and Russia’s withdrawal from most of eastern Ukraine. But for the past two weeks, senior American officials have been discussing with European allies, including Germany, the possibility of sending tanks to participate in the war. The request gained new relevance after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the country is mobilizing 300,000 troops for the war in Ukraine, which is a significant escalation.
As UNIAN reported, on September 22, the President Volodymyr Zelenskyi commented on the situation with the provision of arms by Germany to Ukraine. The president noted that tanks will not put an end to the war. “Armored vehicles for us – it’s a matter of survival of Ukrainians… It’s not only tanks, it’s also (anti-tank grenade launchers) “Matadors”, it’s armored equipment that is in Germany, which we really want and are asking from Scholz,” Zelenskyy said.
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