WASHINGTON — As winter approaches, hostilities in Ukraine will most likely decrease. They may not stop, but they will decrease. Although pundits, media, analysts, and political commentators make predictions according to their politically oriented worldview, the winter will not only be bad for Ukraine, or only bad for Russia, it will be bad for both countries.
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During this period, military units will regroup. Damaged equipment will be sent for repair. New deliveries are expected to replenish lost inventory. Both for Russia and Ukraine. Russia will probably continue with missile strikes and the use of kamikaze drones against Ukrainian infrastructure sites. Mostly energetic, aimed at making the winter for Ukraine much harder than expected.
Against the background of the past ten months in Ukraine, experts expect the next three to be “quieter”. These three months allow Russia and Ukraine to rethink their strategies. They give a chance for additional military equipment to join the war. A chance that West might be getting ready to use.
In 2023, Ukraine may receive better military equipment. There is talk of the third-generation German Leopard 2 tanks. Experts suggest that the Leopard 2 tanks will be the first more modern land systems that Ukraine will have access to. Such a delivery could happen this year as well. Spain expressed its desire to provide Leopard 2 to Ukraine, but the tanks were very, very bad. So bad that the Ukrainian representative of the Ministry of Defense refused to receive them, and even refused to use the money provided by the EU to repair them.
However, it is already openly said that the USA is ready to “allow” Germany to supply tanks. Most likely, this will be done through the Polish Leopard tanks. Poland is already starting its rearmament with the Korean K2 Black Panther and the American Abrams. Poland is one of the most active countries in Europe in its aid to Ukraine.
Months ago, it was thought that if Ukraine got a Leopard or an Abrams, it would escalate the war. A red line will be crossed that could be read by the Kremlin in a way that would involve Europe in direct war. Now, however, the poles are changing. And this change is coming from the US.
Official sources claim that the White House is putting “pressure” on Germany to allow the Leopard 2 to be sent to Ukraine. The source is cited by the German publication F.A.Z. According to the information, Washington insists that Berlin be the initiator of the supply, not the United States. Talks are ongoing, writes F.A.Z.
“The United States signaled to the federal government some time ago that it would approve the delivery of German Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine. Two sources with access to classified information from two countries told F.A.Z. that the US President’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has already informed chancellor’s foreign policy adviser Jens Plötner in October,” the German online portal wrote.
How long will Germany withstand American pressure? Berlin has already repeatedly refused to send Leopard to Ukraine. Not only that – Germany has imposed embargoes on some nations that operate these tanks from being sent to Ukraine. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls the last German refusal – to deploy two Patriot batteries in Ukraine, which it provides to Poland. However, Poland proposed deploying them in Ukraine, but Germany said these air defense systems were intended to protect NATO airspace.
Some experts say it’s all about a deal, not a political controversy. According to them, Germany can trade the “Leopard export permit” for Ukraine with the USA. Especially against the background of Washington’s latest refusal to allow Berlin to purchase Israeli-American Arrow 3 air defense systems.
In the US, some analysts are asking questions like, if Leopard tanks can be sent to Ukraine in 2023, why not Abrams? According to them, the problem is logistics, and there are plenty of Leopard 2 in Europe. Such claims can be considered frivolous, since the logistics of Abrams, even more outdated, is not a problem for Washington. Most likely, the US will continue to distance itself from such decisions, which would fundamentally change the policy in the Kremlin. Such a policy is not unusual for Washington – “annoy the dog, but stay away and let others take care of themselves”.
At the moment, it is convenient for Washington to “throw Poland to the dogs”. As a new operator of Korean and American tanks, Warsaw could be “spent” to provide its Leopards to Ukraine with the blessing of the US, after pressure from Germany. However, it seems that the Leopard 2 tanks will most likely be the first in Ukraine. 2023 is shaping up to be favorable for Ukraine. The west is said to be ready to supply fighter jets. If this happens, along with the delivery of Leopard 2, Ukraine will significantly strengthen its defense capabilities. He will be able to consider returning the temporarily occupied areas from Russia, including Crimea. Leopard 2 delivery could be the first step.
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