Modern weaponry for Kiev can lead to victorious offensive or uncontrollable escalation - Plataforma Media

Modern weaponry for Kiev can lead to victorious offensive or uncontrollable escalation

The sending of heavy and offensive weapons destined for Kiev by western countries could imply a new and victorious Ukrainian offensive or an escalation of the conflict if Moscow considers that “red lines” have been crossed, two military analysts told Lusa.

“The question is to know what is intended with this material”, considered Major General Carlos Branco. “Because the amount announced, and the moment in which this weaponry will be allocated to the Ukrainians, will not allow them to achieve their objectives – the expulsion of Russian forces from Ukraine, including Crimea.”

The military analyst considers that the promised 152 combat vehicles (tanks), of which only 77 have been confirmed so far, will not make the difference. “Of these 77, 31 are Abrams (North Americans), which will only be assigned at the end of this year”.

A different perspective is put forward by Major General Arnaut Moreira, who highlights the importance of this “second major advance in terms of the technological level that the wider West grants to Ukraine” after the sending of the North American Himars multiple rocket launching system.

“The Himars system could always be seen as increasing a defense capability on the part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. But the supply of tanks can never only be involved in issues of merely safeguarding the territory or the defense capacity of Ukrainian forces,” he considered.

Figures advanced by Carlos Branco indicate that, in the first months of the war, the Russians destroyed or disabled around 2,500 Ukrainian tanks and armored vehicles, and that the Ukrainian Army was already asserting itself as the second best equipped in Europe after the Russian .

Most tanks supplied by Western allies to Ukraine have already been destroyed, he says. “The fact that they are desperately asking for vehicles and equipment is significant that they are not prevailing on the battlefield.”

Arnaut Moreia highlighted the “offensive nature” and characteristics of the tanks that will equip Kiev’s forces, and that make them an “ideal instrument” for carrying out offensive manoeuvres.

“Ukraine will now have to think of a different maneuver that will distance it from Bakhmut and Soledar and that will allow, as it did in Kharkiv a few months ago, to break lines, penetrate deep into the enemy’s apparatus and unbalance its defensive system. This is what these tanks will bring”, he predicted.

In Carlos Branco’s analysis, this type of equipment, in particular, will only prolong the conflict, but will not provide Ukraine with resources to achieve the intended objective – the withdrawal of Russian forces from all of its territory.

“But in relation to armored vehicles, not combat vehicles (tanks), the assigned number is very significant. It is close to the number that Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, asked for in an interview with the British magazine The Economist”, he pointed out.

Still for Carlos Branco, the great differences reside in the number of tanks and the number of artillery pieces.

“An Army is not likely to have offensive capability if it does not have combined arms combat capability. It is not an Army without artillery, or with very little artillery, without air support, that will manage to prevail”, he maintains.

Carlos Branco insists that the issue is to know how much and when the material will be allocated, while Arnaut Moreira prefers to highlight the “increasingly old combat models” that Russia has been using, using its deposits.

“On the other hand, the industrial capacity of the west has enormous resilience, we are distributing the war effort among 50 countries of this advanced coalition. The Russian Federation is a very small world economy, and militarizing its industry will have dramatic effects on the quality of life of its population”, he stressed.

A different perspective from his military co-religionist, pointing out a large disproportion of tanks and with an advantage for Moscow.

“Russia has 600 T-90 tanks. And there are a few hundred more modified T-78s, and in relation to the T-72s, there are hundreds and with the ‘upgrade’ that was done, computerized aiming systems, reactive protection, night combat capability, “says Carlos Branco.

In response, Arnaut Moreira uses the example of the so-called “Star Wars” that in the 1980s pitted the US against the then USSR, considering that the collapse of the Soviet Union was not of a military nature.

“It fell due to its inability to respond to the wishes of the population, who did not understand why they had to drive a Wartburg or Lada instead of a Mercedes or BMW. And because the challenge of ‘Star Wars’ forced an investment effort in the Defense industry that collapsed all other systems”, he told Lusa.

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