Leopard 2 tanks, which are aided by the West to Ukraine, fought on a large scale in the Zaporizhia front, but recently they have been absent.
Did Ukraine run out of Leopard 2 (Jaguar) tanks or was there another reason?
Ukraine withdraws Leopard 2 tanks from the front lines
Once advertised as one of the most powerful and modern tanks in the world, superior to Soviet and Russian tanks, Ukraine’s Leopard 2 failed in the first battle, forcing Kiev to withdraw from the front lines.
The failure of Leopard 2 is not necessarily due to poor quality, because it is still worthy of being the most modern tank of NATO. There could be the following reasons.
Firstly, Russia’s minefields and artillery fire, anti-tank missiles, and attack helicopters are too strong, while Ukraine does not have enough force to suppress and cover the advancing mechanized forces.
Second, the Leopard 2 tank is quite complex and easy to damage, requiring a lot more maintenance time than the Soviet and Russian tanks. Ukrainian technical logistics units could not afford major repairs to German tanks on the battlefield. If they have problems, they will have to go to Poland for repair.
Third, the reward policy from the Ministry of Defense, the Government, and individuals and groups of Russia for soldiers who shoot down Western weapons, motivates them to prioritize raids whenever they are discovered. Leopard 2 tanks, as well as other American and Western aid weapons.
RIA Novosti quoted some prisoners as saying that some Ukrainian soldiers shared that they felt insecure when they had to operate combat vehicles supported by the US and the West, including main battle tanks. German Leopard 2 because they were prioritized by the Russians.
The significant loss of motor vehicles, including tanks, on the eastern battlefield also prompted Ukraine to reconsider its counter-attack tactics, when military resources depended mainly on aid from abroad.
Over the past few weeks, counterattacks involving tanks have dwindled. Perhaps Kiev has changed tactics, limiting the loss of heavy combat vehicles to a minimum in order to allow large-scale counterattacks that can be carried out in the future.
Sputnik quoted US media, citing statements from senior officials and frontline commanders of Ukraine, saying that the Ukrainian Army, due to insufficient tanks, armored vehicles, or ammunition to break through the solid defense line. Russia was forced to withdraw from the front line the most modern NATO Leopard 2 tanks.
In a broader view, not only the combat effectiveness, the image of Western combat vehicles, including the Leopard 2 being excluded by Russia, appearing on the eve of the NATO Summit will create an impact. negative media, Ukraine’s decision to withdraw the “jaguar” from the front lines is understandable.
Where are the tanks supported by the UK and the US?
In the matter of military aid, especially tanks to Ukraine, between the US, UK, and Germany, there are often disagreements. London and Washington have always urged their allies to donate German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, but the German side wants the US to take the lead in providing Ukrainian tanks.
The US encouraged its allies to provide more weapons to Ukraine but did not take the lead in providing Abrams tanks of their own production, citing the complexity and cost of using these tanks.
Everything seemed to change when the UK pioneered the aid of 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, to initiate the US to soon transfer modern tanks to Ukraine.
However, despite the Ukrainian counter-offensive campaign that has been going on for more than a month, it is not clear why the Challenger 2 tank has not been seen in battle, while the M1 Abrams tank that promised aid to Ukraine is still there. … is in production. They will not be in Ukraine before the end of 2023.
In this regard, on the military news site VPK, expert Alexander Bartosh, a member of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, said that the US wants European countries to send tanks to the Ukrainian battlefield in order to consume their arsenal. Europe, especially when confronting Russia, the European Leopard 2 tank is unlikely to win.
This fact will increase the value of American tanks in the international arms market and the ability to export them to the militaries of European countries when the source of export weapons is scarce.
This may be an explanation for why British and American tanks have not appeared and fought until now.
The conflict in Ukraine is not only a place to compete between East and West weapons but also a “stage” of competition between Western countries’ weapons.