- The tanks that Ukraine is still using from the Soviet era are running out of spare parts.
- Jack Watling, a Senior Research Fellow in Land Warfare at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), also focused on the Leopard 2
The Ukrainian troops are training hard, but experts and army officials say that if they want to hold their position against Russia in the conflict, they will need modern equipment and tanks. Otherwise, their men will be in a death trap.
Ukraine has T-72 tanks, which are pretty old, to protect its borders right now.
Lieutenant General Serhiy Naiev, who is stationed a few kilometres from the Belarus border, has been getting heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft guns through a crowd-funded project to help Ukraine fight off Shahed drones made in Iran. However, he thinks that tanks will make all the difference in the next phase of the war.
Naiev thinks that won’t be the old T-72s, but rather newer tanks like the German Leopard 2 and the British Challenger.
Also, the Ukrainian official thinks that they need several hundred main battle tanks to hold positions and fight back against the enemy.
“Of course, we need a lot of Western tanks,” Naiev said. They are much better than the Soviet models and can help us move forward.”
He also said, “We’re making up new military units. And what we do next will depend on how ready they are for battle. Because of this, help from the West is very important.”
At the Ramstein meeting in January of this year, the leaders of Ukraine were hoping for help from Germany. But Germany hasn’t joined in.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential adviser in Ukraine, said, “We are disappointed. We know that some countries can’t do certain things. But the longer this takes, the more soldiers and civilians die.
“300 to 400 of these tanks would be better than 2,000 to 3,000 Soviet tanks,” Podolyak has said.
It would make the war move much faster and start the last stages.”
The tanks that Ukraine is still using from the Soviet era are running out of spare parts.
Ukraine is worried that Russia’s next wave of attacks could happen in the next two months, which could make things worse. In the spring, 150,000 Russians who were drafted in the fall will have been trained and likely put into units that are ready to fight.
Jack Watling, a Senior Research Fellow in Land Warfare at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), also focused on the Leopard 2, which Ukraine wants because it is a main battle tank with good sensors that is well protected.