The supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine, which more and more Western countries are assuming for a few days, is a new turning point in the conflict that began with Russia on February 24. While during the first phase of the war the support of Europeans or the United States was limited – at least publicly – to sending fuel, protective equipment, ammunition, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, and this is called a risk of complicity. such as howitzers, tanks, armored vehicles or helicopters.
If the first wave of arms supplies was crucial to thwart Russia’s initial “special operation” in Kyiv, the West’s leap is in line with a new goal: to restore Ukrainians’ ability after the first phase, where, despite very few public figures, losses in people and equipment.
It is also a way to block Russian military efforts in eastern Ukraine, when Moscow has decided to concentrate its resources in the region to at least end its retention in the Donbass area or even permanently deprive Ukraine of its access to the Sea of Azov. “The challenge is really to avoid collapse” Ukrainians, sums up Leo Peria-Peñe, armaments specialist at the French Institute of International Affairs (IFRI).
“Mobility for Ukrainians”
Several categories of heavy weapons have been or should be sent in the near future. The first is howitzers. While the conflict is now turning into a positional war with a relatively demarcated front, these guns allow you to fire powerful and accurate charges at a distance of several tens of kilometers (sometimes 40 km). These howitzers can be towed or self-propelled. The Netherlands, Estonia, the Czech Republic, France with their Caesar guns and, above all, the United States announced the shipment. The American effort is particularly significant because it reaches the number of 90, which is more than all the total French reserves (about 75).
The second category of heavy equipment that Westerners want to provide: tanks and armored vehicles. The Czech Republic was the first to step on the tanks in early April. Since then, Poland has said it has done the same with, according to some estimates, delivered dozens of tanks and armored personnel carriers. On April 26, Germany finally announced the shipment of, in particular, Cheetah tanks to be taken from German industry. The movement was joined by the United States, Britain, the Netherlands and Australia, but with BPM of various types, including mine.
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