Leclerc, Leopard… Why Ukraine wants heavy tanks against Russia

WOJTEK RADWANSKI / AFP For several months, Ukraine has been asking its allies to donate heavy tanks, which could allow a major boost in the face of a Russian invasion (the illustration shows a Leopard tank during a NATO exercise in May 2022 in Poland).

WAR IN UKRAINE – Heavy tanks ” war changers The year 2023? While the idea has been floated for months, the prospect of seeing the West give such weapons to Ukraine to help it resist Vladimir Putin’s Russia seems clearer in January. However, the announcement in this direction can have many effects on the conflict…

This Thursday, January 19, the Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in a joint statement ” Partner States “also” quite a lot » Increase arms supplies, specifically targeting twelve countries that can supply them with Leopard-type heavy tanks. Berlin must agree before German-designed devices can be supplied to Kiev, even by other states.

Berlin under pressure

But as Germany delayed, Vladimir Zelensky pressed on Thursday, saying it would not supply heavy tanks until the US did so first. Especially with the attack Those who say, ‘I will give a tank if someone else brings it’ “. In the same vein, as you can see belowThe Ministry of Defense of Ukraine posted a video jokingly asking France to hand over Leclerc tanks, the French equivalent of the German Leopard.

And for good reason: the head of state of Ukraine knows that there are promising dynamics for him, having already received a shipment of 14 heavy tanks of the Challenger type from the British. Faced with reluctance from an increasingly pressured Germany, Finland and Poland, for example, have expressed readiness to supply tanks to Kiev. ” German authorization is only an auxiliary matter. We will either buy quickly or do our own thing “Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that the security of Europe depends on the delivery of heavy tanks.

“First of all, the purchase of these devices by Kyiv can give results in addition to protecting Europe.” take a new step To the fray, as editor Jean-Marc Four pointed out on fraceinfo this Thursday. Because heavy tanks (Leopard for the German model, Challenger for the British, Leclerc for the French or Abrams in the US) are a new type of weapon on the Ukrainian front. ” These are tanks aimed at breaking through enemy lines, weapons of reconquest with an undeniable offensive character. “, the journalist explained again.

A weapon that will change the dynamics of the conflict

But we remind our colleagues from December ExpressThe chief of staff of the Kyiv army assured Valery Zalouzhny that he knew how 300 of these machines ” to defeat the enemy “. And specialist magazine Military balance believes that “only” a hundred can have a significant impact on the turn of the conflict.

Because that’s what the danger is: the Ukrainians, who once had dozens of heavy tanks, could do more than resist Russian strikes and counter-offensives, such as retaking the occupied parts of Donbass. Control over Moscow and its proxies, as well as Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. Obviously, it goes from defense to counter-attack.

Combined with the German-designed Marder, heavy tanks with armor capable of transporting troops to the front and returning them in a moment of danger could effectively transform the military situation on the ground. With their heavy ammunition and resistance to enemy fire, they can effectively pick off Russian armor and effectively engage enemy artillery positions.

Also, reset Military balancethey said they would be an improvement over Ukrainian tanks in terms of day-and-night targeting and would be able to use a wider variety of ammunition that could be provided by Ukraine’s allies.

Increased risk

First of all, if Germany agreed, Ukraine could buy a large number of vehicles very quickly. Produced in thousands of copies and sold by hundreds to Berlin’s partners, the Leopard is used by dozens of European armies. Some of them, including Finland and Poland, for example, Spain, have announced that they intend to deliver dozens to Ukrainians.

However, as franceinfo’s Jean-Marc Four concludes, one question remains: what political turn the conflict in Ukraine will take if the West gets in on the act en masse: “ What mechanism are we entering? Because if the NATO member states and their allies had provided Kiev with means of defense since the beginning of the conflict, heavy tanks would have represented a counterattack opportunity for Ukraine. To the point of making them appear as arbitrary fighters in the eyes of Moscow? Doubts are allowed.

Ukraine, in any case, seems fed up with the procrastination of the West. ” There is no taboo. From Washington to London, from Paris to Warsaw, they say something: Ukraine needs tanks; this is the key to ending the war “, Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to the presidency of Ukraine, wrote on Twitter this Thursday, January 19. ” It’s time to stop being afraid of Putin and take the last step. »

See also HuffPost:

Read also

War in Ukraine: Can there be peace in 2023?

War in Ukraine: Faced with Putin, US-surrendered Patriots may be able to turn the tide (slightly).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *