Chancellor Scholz asks questions about Leopard 2 delivery in the Bundestag

Swiss military expert sees Russia strengthened – tanks important for Ukraine

According to a military expert from Switzerland, Russia has overcome a phase of weakness in the war against Ukraine. “We are heading towards a situation in which main battle tanks play an important role in terms of defense and counter-offensives,” says Niklas Masuhr, researcher at the Center for Security Studies at the ETH University in Zurich, the German Press Agency. Since the fall, Russia has improved its position, for example by building defensive lines.

Retrofitting Ukrainian tanks is made more difficult because Russia has destroyed many factories and production lines for tank ammunition, for example. The NATO countries have already made old reserves available. Accordingly, Western main battle tanks such as the German-made Leopard or the Abrams from the USA now came into focus.

With a minimum of 100 western tanks, Ukraine could equip a western-style tank brigade, Masuhr said. “But main battle tanks are not a silver bullet. They have to be deployed and repaired together and equipped with ammunition.” The expert also pointed to a logistical nightmare for Ukraine if the deliveries were not well coordinated. Even different versions of the same type meant additional challenges.

Regarding the course of the war, the military expert said: “Ukraine has carried out its previous counter-offensives during Russian weak phases, especially in the fall. Since then, however, Russia has consolidated and has a steady hand at command level.” Ukraine also cannot rely on the fact that “Russian shortcomings from the first year will necessarily be repeated”. The war has been going on since February last year.

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