Another Russian offensive seems imminent – that’s why Ukraine says it needs as many tanks as possible | world news

This is the largest US arms package for Ukraine since the Russian invasion.

The numbers are staggering – financially and in terms of the pieces of military hardware that Americans donate.

The cost is around $2.5 billion (£2 billion). It includes 59 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, 90 Stryker armored fighting vehicles and 350 Humvees – the great 4×4 vehicle and an icon of the US military. There are also over 21,000 artillery shells of various types and much more.

Missing from the list though – tanks. This is what the Ukrainian military says it desperately needs if they want to defeat the Russians and not just hold the front lines.

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Why don’t the Americans supply their main battle tank, the M1 Abrams? Well, apparently it’s because of supply chain and maintenance issues. It is true that it weighs around 10 tons more than its European equivalents and the geography makes its deployment and maintenance all the more difficult.

But Americans are still worried about provoking Vladimir Putin too much – where, policymakers in Washington are asking, are his red lines?

There’s confusion and frustration among the military sources I’ve spoken to as to why the Biden administration can’t just hand over a few tanks to unlock the German dead end and to boost the Ukrainian numbers, if only by a handful.

The criticism is that the Americans consistently provide only enough weapons to sustain the war, but not enough to end it with a Ukrainian victory.

Read more:
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Do some US policymakers see a strategic opportunity in prolonging the war to crush the Russian military and Mr. Putin himself?

Another related development – the CIA director was in Kyiv for the past few days to meet with Ukrainian leaders.

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Beyond the tanks, the discussion would have focused on what Mr Putin has planned for the weeks and months ahead.

Remember, a year ago, US intelligence was on the scene when the CIA repeatedly warned that Ukraine was about to be invaded. Many doubted Mr. Putin would actually do it. But he did.

The suggestion is that a new Russian offensive is imminent.

That’s why the Ukrainians on the front line say they need as many tanks as possible.

Ukrainian leaders worry about Western fatigue with Ukraine. From my vantage point in Washington, it is certainly true that there is growing unease among Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill over what they see as an unaudited and seemingly endless flow of weapons into Ukraine. .


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