Washington and its allies are putting the world at risk, Russia’s deputy envoy to the OSCE has warned.
This comes after the U.S. officially announced it will send American tanks to Ukraine as part of a coordinated effort with Germany, and the UK.
The US are to send 31 Abrams M1 tanks, the UK commitment is 14 Challenger 2 tanks, while Germany will supply Ukraine with a massive 112 Leopard 2 battle tanks, that’s 157 of the most sophisticated deadliest armoured killing machines available to any modern army, and the largest deployment of main battle tanks sent to the Russian front since World War II, and if we are honest, it could possibly be the first shipment East in what is rapidly escalating into World War III…
Dmitri Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said that delivering American M1 Abrams and German Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv would be a “losing scheme” that would burden Europe without strengthening the Ukrainian military, warning the tanks would “go up in flames.” according to Tass, the Russian state-run news agency.
“They cost a lot and all this burden will be primarily shouldered by European taxpayers,” he said.
Similarly, a Russian lawmaker and former commander of the Russian Air Force, Viktor N. Bondarev, told Tass that the tanks would not significantly impact the Russian campaign in Ukraine, but that attention must be paid to destroying them.
Russia’s deputy envoy to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Maksim Buyakevich, told the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday. America’s “reckless neo-colonialist expansionist policy” has put Europe and possibly the world on the brink of a devastating conflict, Continued escalation of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine could spiral into an all-out war that would see no victors.
He said: “The leaders of the US and their NATO client states have come close to a red line,” the diplomat warned, citing the US and other western nations’ plans to send dozens of modern battle tanks to Kyiv. Buyakevich accused Washington and its allies of “deliberately escalating the military standoff” in Ukraine and of provoking Kyiv into “military action against the Russian population.”
“This is a straight path into a full-blown conflict in Europe, which absolutely all people living on our continent definitely stand to lose from,” the Russian diplomat warned. He also said that the US and the UK, which he described as the “puppet masters” of the ongoing escalation, would hardly be able to “sit it out” either.
Why Tanks, Why now?
Everyone understands the need and right for Ukraine to defend itself, and from what we were told Ukraine has been doing a pretty good job at that.
The use of the NLAW next-generation light anti-tank weapons donated to the defence of Ukraine by the British government was said to have virtually wiped out Russia’s Tank offensive.
Colin Kahl, the US undersecretary of defence for policy claimed that a massive 1,450 Russian tanks have been destroyed, captured, abandoned, or damaged over the course of the war, which would be roughly half the entire Russian pre-invasion tank force.
The claim was that Russian troops, fleeing Ukrainian battlefield advances have left behind modern T-90 tanks that Moscow considers to be among the most advanced in its arsenal.
However, the reality is, Russia has managed to take and then consolidate virtually all the former autonomous areas of the Donbas region, an area that had been the subject of a merciless Ukraine civil war for 8 long years prior to the Russian invasion.
The result is the annexation of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.
This annexation changed everything. On 30 September 2022, amid the ongoing conflict with Ukraine, we witnessed a unilaterally declared annexation of areas in and around four Ukrainian oblasts – Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.
The boundaries of this Russian annexation and their borders were not defined; Russian officials stated that they would be defined later. None of the oblasts was fully under Russian control at the time of the declaration.
If limited to the areas then under Russian control that’s about 90,000 sq km or 15% of Ukraine’s territory the annexation would still be the largest in Europe since World War II.
This is extremely important, rightly or wrongly, Russia has now claimed that land and when you take into consideration, Tanks are an attack weapon, then the only conclusion to be made is it will be these Russia-annexed lands that Ukraine will attack, well that’s how Putin will sell it at least.
The reality is winning back lost territory will only come through peace negotiations, not more war. However, the fact the West said little to nothing about Crimea would give Ukraine little faith in that outcome.
Ukraine planning an offensive.
What is clear is that Tanks are not for defence!
A Tanks primary role is as an attack weapon. It’s quite clear Ukraine needs Tanks for an offensive and that may well be a turning point in this war, but not quite in the same way you might think.
We are constantly told there will be a new frontal assault taking place in spring. The fact that Ukraine offers both the worst fighting ground for Tanks in winter and the best in the world come spring gives both sides a window of preparation, however, as fate has it 2023 has turned out to be the mildest winter in Ukraine in decades, that window is now shortening.
An attack on Donbas will be seen as an attack on Russia, not a retaking of territory and there comes the danger.
That assault could well be the trigger point for escalation and unless I am missing something I can’t possibly see how an assault by Ukraine into Donbas could ever succeed. It is so hard to see how Ukraine would achieve win back significant territory without air superiority.
The normal rules of engagement would suggest the use of Main battle tanks comes after prolonged artillery and air strikes, it is supported by ground forces and often well-trained infantry using a range of weapons, including their own anti-tank weapons, however without adequate air support.
The effectiveness of this strategy is questionable unless the next train to Ukraine is carrying ground-to-air missiles. That would be essential equipment otherwise any battle group of tanks would be exceedingly vulnerable.
Of course, Russia would relish any Tank battle in Ukraine especially one with German Tanks, just for the propaganda victory it would be seen as a rerun and victory by the Soviets over the Nazis in the battle of Kursk during the great patriotic war.
But take away the speculation, the what ifs, we are left with a situation that is a press of a button away from our worst nightmares.
Peter Hitchens best captures this moment when he says: “there is the real possibility that a large chunk of Europe might be turned into a radioactive graveyard and that American conventional retaliation for this (which will be furious and powerful) will take us a stage further into the world of horror, loss, flight, pestilence and poverty which always follows war”.
“Two countries are in a furious grapple because their deep, hard and unalterable interests conflict”.
“The sane and decent policy for any outside power is to help push them into a lasting compromise, as the world did to France and Germany after 1945. Instead, we send tanks. It is as if the fire brigade went about starting fires”.