War Ukraine: Russia ensures that Leopard and Abrams tanks "will burn like the rest" in Ukraine | International

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The Kremlin is not worried that Ukraine now has modern tanks from the United States and Europe. "They will burn like the rest," said Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitri Peskov. Despite the fact that Moscow has spoken in the past of "red lines" when criticizing the supply of other weapons to kyiv, the shipment of American M-1 Abrams tanks and European Leopard 2 has not pushed the Russian president to pick up the phone to ask for explanations. . When asked if Moscow will hold talks with Berlin about this new chapter in the war, Peskov has been as concise as he is blunt: "They will not take place." “We repeat: these tanks will burn like all the others. They are very expensive and all this will fall, first of all, on the shoulders of European taxpayers. The Americans, as always, will remain on the sidelines and, most likely, will make a good profit," Peskov said on Wednesday.

Putin's spokesman has also taken the opportunity to throw another dart and fuel the debate around the alleged dissent within NATO. “There are a lot of mutually exclusive statements, news stories and leaks. It is clear that all is not well there. Not everything is going well within the Atlantic Alliance itself, nor is everything going well due to the presence of tanks”, Peskov asserted.

However, just as happened with the disconnection of Russian gas or the cap on the price of oil sold by the Kremlin, the European Union has reached a new agreement with the Leopard 2. The German government demanded greater coordination from its partners to send the armored vehicles to kyiv, and finally this Tuesday it was learned that the federal chancellor, Olaf Scholz, approved the delivery of his own cars and the authorization for forwarding them from other allied countries.


American aid has been enormous since Putin launched his offensive. The State Department has listed all the military material delivered to Ukraine since February of last year, and the sum reaches 24.6 billion euros in armored vehicles, cannons, ammunition, missiles and other means, to which tens of thousands must be added. millions more in financial support to the country.

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Peskov's words have been joined by the Russian ambassador to the US, Anatoli Antonov, who has also predicted that his military "will destroy US tanks in the same way that they have destroyed all other NATO units", and has reiterated that the blame for the conflict rests with Washington, which a year ago was criticized for supplying Javelin man-portable anti-tank rocket launchers while Russia was deploying its troops around Ukraine. “Arguments about defensive weapons will no longer work. This is another blatant provocation against the Russian Federation,” Antonov added.

The new armored cars add to the headache that Himars precision shuttles and other weapons pose for Moscow. The Russian Defense Ministry maintains that it has destroyed several of these artillery pieces. kyiv, however, claims that not a single one of its 20 units has been hit since it received its first more than half a year ago. Around this time, Peskov warned that Washington was approaching his red lines: “[EE UU] he is deliberately adding gasoline to the fire.”

Concern among the military

On the impact of the new tanks, the chairman of the Defense Committee of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, has been more prudent. General and deputy Andrei Kartapolov predicted that the new Ukrainian armored formations "will appear somewhere in spring, closer to summer, and then this will be serious." Kartapolov has given an interview to the state television Rossiya-24 in which he stressed that the most dangerous thing for Russia is that Ukraine does not immediately deploy the tanks on the battlefield, but prepares its units for a few months in Poland and adapts its systems logistics to the new weapons.

“Leopard tanks are not bad, they are even more effective than Abrams in several aspects. However, compared to our T-90s they are significantly inferior in firepower and armor, including reactive protection,” Kartapolov noted. The other alternative to the Leopards and Abrams would be the new generation armored cars, although they have not yet been seen on the front lines. According to him, if they finally appear "it will be for propaganda reasons" because "possibly only a few dozen have been produced and it is unlikely that commanders trust the combat vehicle."

The Russian media and its pundits have also dismissed the importance of Western tanks by dismissing them as the new “wunderwaffe” (miracle weapons, in German), which always promise an impossible turnaround in the course of the war. “It will not be possible to quickly train the crews of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” said Aleksei Leonkov, editor of the military magazine Arsenal Otechestva: “The training programs in Germany and the UK take more than a year. The Poles, who receive Leopard from time to time, retrain every two or three years, and we are talking about professional soldiers.

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