Mon Aug 7, 2017, 12:38 PM

Sending 'Defensive' Arms to Ukraine Would Be Deadly

Both Russian and U.S. generals have an interest in testing their newer weapons against each other.

By Leonid Bershidsky
August 1, 2017, 11:07 AM EDT

Not what Ukraine needs. Photographer: DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images
As part of the latest escalation of the U.S.-Russian crisis, there is reportedly a joint plan by the Pentagon and the State Department to provide "lethal defensive weapons" to Ukraine. That presents an enticing prospect for both U.S. and Russian generals, who may be able to test some of their most modern weaponry against each other. But it's likely to make the eastern Ukraine conflict even bloodier in the process.

The Wall Street Journal report mentions that the U.S. would supply Ukraine with Javelin anti-tank missiles and possibly anti-aircraft systems. Since no air war is being fought in eastern Ukraine, the latter are superfluous at this point and not likely to be engaged unless Russia launches a full offensive -- something it has missed numerous chances to do and probably will never attempt. The Javelins are another matter. Ukrainians want them for very practical reasons.

The new U.S. special envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, has said that "there are more Russian tanks in there than in Western Europe combined." He may have heard this in Kiev, where various numbers of tanks fighting under the banners of the two unrecognized, pro-Russian "people's republics" of Donetsk and Luhansk have been bandied about. These estimates go up to 1,000, and Russian television once briefly showed a military balance table that gave the statelets 700 tanks. Germany and France have a combined 949 tanks.

Russia has denied sending any tanks to the separatists, claiming they are trophies or remnants of Ukraine's enormous cache of Soviet weapons. That's likely untrue. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which follows international arms transfers, has recorded Russian tank supplies to the rebels. It will send more as needed, and there's evidence that it did in 2015 to ensure the Ukrainian military's biggest defeat in the war, near the important railroad junction of Debaltsevo.


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Reply Sending 'Defensive' Arms to Ukraine Would Be Deadly (Original post)
RCW2014 Aug 2017 OP
Badsamm Aug 2017 #1
Troll2 Aug 2017 #2

Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Mon Aug 7, 2017, 12:59 PM

1. it's a numbers game and the west ain't winning.

It's Russia's front lines and there is no way the west can out match Russia in the weapons it can bring to bear in short order. The minute the West publicly admits to supplying weapons, the Russian's don't have to hold back any more. The West declared war and now everything Russia does will be considered defensive in nature- in their eyes, and that is all that matters.

Lots of Ukrainians are going to die for their Western oligarchs. Hunter Biden thanks them for their sacrifice.

War on europe's doorstep is great for business and consumer spending I'm sure.

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Mon Aug 7, 2017, 02:11 PM

2. More likely to be used against pill boxes and other hardened positions than tanks

It's essentially a static WW I style front.

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