US and Germany send the much discussed tanks in Ukraine: online videos going viral on Ukrainian social media show a long line of German Leopard 2 tanks on a train in transit just “40 kilometers from the Polish border” to the Ukrainian front.
A turning point in the war, which several analysts and commentators read as inextricably linked to the arrival of the tanks for Ukraine, strongly demanded by President Zelensky from the West.
And Moscow meanwhile, threatens, “The Russian army will destroy American M1 Abrams tanks – thus the warning of the Russian ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov – as well as other military equipment of NATO countries.”
Why the tanks from the West may be a turning point in the war
Another diriment point, is that even the countries that have purchased Leopard 2 tanks from Germany for their armed forces (and could supply them to Ukraine ), have to get permission from Berlin to re-export them.
And this conditions the German decision, which could start a spiral in armaments for the country at war with Russia, which changes the chessboard of war strategies, and of the role of one of the largest importers of Russian gas, Germany.
According to military experts, there would be at least 1,700 Leopard tanks in Europe, so the ease in obtaining spare parts makes them crucial and more strategic than the Abrams for US.
Zelensky asking Leopard tanks, why are they crucial
Decisive element in a conflict of long duration, is to have spare parts. The tanks, decisive in the ground campaigns, are powerful but exposed to the fragility of the conditions in which they move, grinding kilometers on the front.
A front still frozen by the harsh winter in the East, but approaching the rainy season, and therefore mud: which is one of the “enemies,” traditionally considered most fearsome by the generals of both sides.
Hence the pressing of Kiev to demand new tanks as soon as possible, from the entire West.
Moscow: “This mean only more suffering for Ukraine”
On the Russian side, Moscow’s threats through the mouth of its ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, who stated that “The Russian army will destroy the tanks,” seem to indicate Moscow’s concerns about supplying tanks to Kiev.
President Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov also threatens, “Abrams and Leopard 2 will bring more suffering to Kiev, and more tensions on the European continent,” according to Peskov “This cannot prevent Russia from achieving our goals.” A statement-issued to CNN-that gives the measure of how long this conflict, would still seem destined to last.