Volodymyr Zelensky, the former sitcom comedian who played the role as President of Ukraine, who got elected as the actual president of Ukraine by promising peace with Russia, called on more weapons from Western countries just days after Germany and the U.S. announced that they would provide Ukraine with tanks.
Applauding the approval of Western tanks as a “fist of freedom,” that could help his forces break through Russian strongholds, Zelensky also stated, “We have to unlock the supply of long-range missiles to Ukraine; it is important for us to expand our cooperation in artillery. We have to achieve the supply of aircraft to Ukraine.”
The U.S. announced last week that it will provide Ukraine with 31 M1A2 Abrams tanks.
President Joe Biden said Wednesday that these tanks will assist in Ukraine’s ability to “defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives. These tanks are further evidence of our enduring, unflagging commitment to Ukraine and our confidence in the skill of Ukrainian forces,” the president said.
CNN reported that the Abrams tank that the U.S. will provide Ukraine is an upgraded model rather than the M1A1 that needs to be manufactured before they reach Ukraine, which will take “many months” or even years.
The White House said it will eventually provide Ukraine with 31 tanks but the Biden administration did not say how long it would take to procure these tanks. The U.S. does not have enough in its own stockpiles for another drawdown.
These tanks will be manufactured in the government-owned, General Dynamics-operated plant in Lima, Ohio. Politico noted that the plant can produce about three tanks per week.
The report said the new tank includes an independent thermal viewer to help them locate warm bodies and engines to target. These tanks are high-maintenance and require about an hour of service for every three hours in battle, but the newer model has an internal system to help crews run diagnostic tests.
The move comes about a week after the U.S. announced it will send Ukraine 90 Stryker combat vehicles as part of its $2.5 billion weapons package.
Retired Army Gen. Robert Abrams, the former commander of U.S. Forces Korea, whose father was the namesake of the tank, told CNN that the new version is “significantly” more lethal than its earlier version and is “far superior in lethality and survivability and mobility” than anything Russia has on the ground in Ukraine.
Taking proactive measures in retaliation for the tanks, Russia fired scores of missiles into Ukraine on Thursday targeting Ukraine’s power and water infrastructure. Zelensky said the strikes were another example of “evil,” and can only be stopped with “adequate weapons, weapons on the battlefield, weapons that protect our skies.”
TRENDPOST: It is worth noting that there are three versions of this M1A2 configuration, and the U.S. will not be providing Ukraine with its newest model that comes with secret armor that includes depleted uranium.
Politico noted that federal policy forbids the export of Abrams with classified armor packages used by the U.S. military.
The report noted that the U.S. “strips the vehicles of this secret armor “recipe” before selling them to other countries.”
We have noted that war is good business for the military-industrial complex and the plant in Ohio, where these tanks will be manufactured, is already backlogged with orders from Taiwan and Poland, “orders it would be difficult and likely controversial to put on the backburner,” the report said. (See “U.S. SENDS ANOTHER $2.5 BILLION IN WEAPONS OF DEATH TO UKRAINE, GERMANY TO POLAND: SEND LEOPARD TANKS” 24 Jan 2023.)
The decision by the White House to allow the tanks to be provided to Ukraine was seen as a significant departure from the administration’s position just days before.
Lloyd Austin, U.S. defense secretary, and Mark Milley, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, said no Leopard tanks would be given to Ukraine by Germany before the announcement.
NBC News reported that Biden announced he would provide the tanks because Austin recommended the move. Three officials told the news outlet that Secretary of State Antony Blinken was a major impetus behind the decision. Blinken told Biden that the tank issue could show divisions within the U.S.-European alliance. These officials said Biden’s decision caught some military officials off guard, similar to his decision to provide Patriot missiles.
Germany Agrees to Provide Ukraine With Leopard Tanks
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced last week that Berlin will provide Ukraine with 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks and allow other willing European countries to provide Leopards from their militaries.
“This decision hews to our known line, which is to support Ukraine to the best of our ability,” Scholz said. “We are acting in close international coordination.”
While these Leopards will likely arrive in Ukraine well before the Abrams tanks, there are still questions about when. It is also still unclear how long it will take for Ukrainian troops to be trained on the equipment.
Boris Pistorius, the German defense minister, said it is his hope to provide Ukraine with two battalions from various European countries within three months, The Wall Street Journal reported.
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has long noted that the West is not engaged in a “proxy” war with Russia. The West is at war. (See “U.S. TRAINING UKRAINIAN TROOPS IN AMERICA” 17 Jan 2023 and “MOSCOW WARNS U.S. AGAINST SENDING PATRIOT MISSILES TO UKRAINE” 20 Dec 2022.)
Russia said it views the decision by European countries to provide Ukraine with tanks as further evidence that Europe and the U.S. are directly involved in the war.
Dmitry Peskov said Russia “categorically” disagrees with comments from the West stating that these weapon shipments do not mean direct conflict with Moscow.
“In Moscow, everything that the alliance and the capitals I mentioned are doing is seen as direct involvement in the conflict. We see that this is growing,” he said.
Biden continues to make the imbecilic comments that providing these weapons pose “no offensive threat” as though these tanks don’t have the ability to roll into Russia. He insists that these tanks merely help Ukrainian troops “improve their ability to maneuver on the battlefield.”
Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s security council and close Putin ally, said the evolution of the war shows that the U.S. and NATO “intend to continue making efforts to drag out this military conflict and have become participants.”
He said that the end of the conflict will not stop the “Anglo-Saxon world will not stop the proxy war against Russia and its allies.”
Greece Joins List of Countries to Provide Ukraine With Leopards
Greece announced last week that it will join the countries providing Ukraine with the Leopard 2 tanks by sending about 14 tanks from its military.
Poland, Sweden, Spain, Finland, Canada, Sweden, and the Netherlands have all agreed to provide Ukraine with the tanks.
POLAND: 14 Leopard tanks and 60 of its own modernized tanks. Warsaw already provided Ukraine with 250 tanks about six months before the Russian invasion.
FINLAND: Helsinki did not specify how many tanks it will provide Ukraine but has confirmed that it will take part in the international effort.
CANADA: Ottawa announced that it will provide Ukraine with four Leopard tanks.
SWEDEN: The Swedish Defense Force called the Leopard the “best heavy tank of all time” and said it is open to providing Ukraine with some from its military.
THE NETHERLANDS: Amsterdam said it is willing to provide Ukraine with up to 18 Leopard tanks.
Greece has the most tanks of this type in Europe, Deutsch WELT reported.
“No other country in Europe has such a large number of Leopard tanks as in Greece: about 350 Leopard 2s and 500 Leopard 1s. Among them are 183 older Leopard-2A4s that experts say are particularly suitable for use in Ukraine,” the report said.