The Financial Times: Why Zelensky’s pressing for Western arms


The Financial Times posted an analysis asking for why is Volodymyr Zelensky pressing for Western arms?

The analysis, talked about the Ukrainian president’s recent tour of Europe.

Ukraine will have to move away from Soviet-era equipment that has few and limited sources of spare parts and ammunition.

Zelinsky’s lightning tour of European capitals last week in order to put pressure on the allies to obtain modern long-range weapons, was only partially successful.

The analysis raises the question, “Why does Zelensky rely so much on weapons that may take months, if not years, to reach the battlefield?”

“It would take six months to train even experienced pilots how to fly an F16 or other multi-mission aircraft and master its weapon systems”.

It’s unlikely that the US-made M1 Abrams tanks, which are supplied directly by the manufacturer General Dynamics, will be delivered before 2024.

Even the refurbished Leopard 1 and 2 tanks may take several months to arrive in the numbers promised.

One of the reasons Ukraine is pressing such demands is that it will inevitably have to move away from Soviet-era equipment for which there are few and limited sources of ammunition and spare parts.

A senior artillery officer said last week that the Ukrainian armed forces are now firing more 155 mm shells which is the NATO standard than they fire 152 mm shells from standard Soviet ammunition, and this is a turning point in Ukraine’s transition to Western equipment.

Ukraine may be able to use its existing stocks of weapons more freely if it knows it has replacement equipment arriving at a later date.

It could throw more of its Soviet-era tanks into the effort to fend off an imminent Russian attack, and then use its Leopard and Challenger tanks in its expected counter-offensive later in the spring.

Officials and analysts say that Zelensky’s intense push for armaments is partly a response to Russia’s willingness to expend large numbers of its forces on the battlefield, often for limited gains.

Moscow has mobilized about 300,000 men since September, after Ukrainian forces smashed its defensive lines in the northeast of the country to liberate thousands of square kilometers of territory.

Now it appears that Russia has no shortage of troops to throw into battle, the analysis added.

In the fierce fighting for Bakhmut, in the Donbas region, Russian commanders are sending waves of lightly armed conscripts to look for weak spots in Ukrainian positions before they come under fire.

The tactics are reminiscent of World War I but also of the Soviet commanders who easily threw their men into battle regardless of the human cost.

The analysis added, “It’s believed that many of the Russians killed in the Battle of Bakhmut were criminals recruited from prisons by Wagner’s private military company.

Last summer, it was the conscripts from provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk who suffered terrible losses while fighting the Ukrainian forces.

On his visit to the UK last week, Zelensky said that unless Ukraine was supplied with advanced long-range weapons, including combat aircraft, the war could turn into a stalemate because of Moscow’s willingness to send too many of its men to die.

Share it...

Leave a Reply