Russia has warned repeatedly that Western arms shipments to Ukraine will be targeted for destruction, but there are a variety of reasons why it has been unable to do so.
Experts say that since Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24, Western weapons have aided Kiev in halting Russian advances. More than 12,000 anti-tank missiles, 1,400 man-portable air defence missiles, more than 50 million rounds of ammunition, and a variety of other weapons have been transferred to Ukraine by the United States alone.
Russia has repeatedly warned that massive arms shipments to Ukraine are a target for Moscow to destroy, but they have had little success in stopping these shipments.
Experts say one reason is that Russia does not yet have complete control of Ukraine’s airspace. They only had air superiority over a few areas in Ukraine at the time. As a result, Russian air power deployment over Ukraine is still limited in some areas due to the risk of Russian aircraft being shot down. Experts also claim that Russia is having difficulty supplying weapons and supplies to its own army in Ukrainian territory.
According to Robert G. Bell, a former NATO official who is now a professor at Georgia Tech’s Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, the aid shipments were hidden or disguised in ways that made the Russians difficult to distinguish. Russia appears to be missing a network of scouts on the ground who can pinpoint which convoy or vehicle is carrying weapons and take preventative action. Professor Stephen Biddle of Columbia University in the United States said: “Stopping these support weapons shipments isn’t easy. Trucks can transport ammunition and shoulder-fired missiles. And the Russian-targeted weapons trucks are only a small part of a much larger trade and cargo flow from NATO countries like Poland to Ukraine “,.
“In order to stop the flow of weapons and ammunition into Ukraine without wasting Moscow’s weapons, the Russians will have to find a needle in a haystack,” Biddle said.
Russia has fired weapons into Ukraine’s fixed arsenals in the past, causing significant damage to Kiev, but stopping the flow of weapons to Ukraine is difficult.
Given the likelihood that the conflict in the Donbass will escalate in the near future, Russia may be forced to take drastic measures to stop the flow of weapons that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky considers “vital” to the country’s survival. In recent days, the West has begun to increase the flow of heavy weapons into Ukraine to assist in dealing with Russia, which may prompt Russia to become more assertive in preventing threats from these weapons systems if they are allowed to be implemented.