Pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk: even with Western tanks, Ukraine will struggle to mount a significant counterattack.

The security official of the separatist Donetsk region explains why it is difficult for Ukraine to counterattack on a large scale with Western weapons, even if it is provided with tanks according to NATO standards.

Security officials in the separatist Donetsk region told Tass that Ukraine would be unlikely to launch a large-scale counterattack with the weapons the West intends to supply Kiev, even with the supply of tanks. approved by NATO. Over the weekend, after a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said that there would be a new military aid package to help Kiev launch a counterattack against Russia.

“Even taking into account all the tanks that the West has been promised to give Ukraine, they are just one tank battalion, by Western standards (about 56 units). It’s really a force. powerful on a single battlefield but will not be too large on a 5 to 10 km long front line,” a Donetsk official explained.

He said: “They won’t even be able to use a company of tanks (10 tanks) to launch an attack, the best they can do is use platoons of 3-4 tanks. as a company there is a risk of attracting attention when moving together on the way to the battlefield and possibly becoming the target of ambush, this poses the risk that the tank may be caught on fire before it can be ambushed. Then maybe only 3 or 4 tanks out of 10 will be able to reach the front lines, where they will be within range of anti-tank missile systems and other weapons.”

Over the past few weeks, NATO has been divided over the transfer of tanks to Ukraine. Germany is under great pressure to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev because the ruling Social Democrats fear sudden moves such as tank aid could escalate the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

According to sources familiar with Reuters, Berlin is ready to provide tanks to Kiev on the condition that the US agree to aid its Abrams tanks to Ukraine first. However, US officials have so far insisted Washington has no such plan.

Ukraine says Western heavy tanks will make its ground troops more mobile and better protected against a potential Russian attack. In addition, it will also help Ukraine regain some territory already controlled by Russia.

A number of NATO member states, including Poland and France, signaled their readiness to transfer tanks to Kiev. Poland claims it can deliver Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev without German approval.

Answering a question about Berlin’s reaction if Poland transfers Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine without Germany’s consent, German government spokeswoman Annalena Baerbock said on January 22: “Currently, they have not given them yet. offer this, but if they do, we won’t stop it.”

Meanwhile, Russia warned that any Western weapons transferred to Ukraine, including tanks, could not change the battlefield situation, on the contrary, only prolong the suffering of the Ukrainian people.

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