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U.S. Will Help Transfer Soviet-Made Tanks to Ukraine

Rogue Valley

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4.1.22
The Biden administration will work with allies to transfer Soviet-made tanks to bolster Ukrainian defenses in the country’s eastern Donbas region, a U.S. official said on Friday. The decision to act as an intermediary to help transfer the Soviet-made tanks, which Ukrainian troops know how to use, comes in response to a request from President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, the official said. It marks the first time in the war that the United States has helped transfer tanks. The official said the transfers would begin soon, but declined to say how many tanks would be sent, or from which countries they would come. They will allow Ukraine to conduct long-range artillery strikes on Russian targets in Donbas, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. The tanks’ arrival could be another signal of a new phase in the war, which is five weeks old and has been dominated by Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities and installations from the air, and a stalled Russian advance on the ground. Earlier this week, Russian officials indicated that they were refocusing their efforts on eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian soldiers since 2014.

Ukraine had already found one source of tanks, capturing at least 161 from Russia on the battlefield, according to the military analysis site Oryx, though Russia has also destroyed a number of Ukrainian tanks. For its part, Russia has captured 43 Ukrainian tanks, according to analysts who study photos and videos on social media. The decision to help transfer the tanks comes as the Ukrainian military has continued to turn back Russia’s ground advance. Pentagon officials have been quick to point out that Russia’s pivot to Donbas and away from capturing Kyiv, the capital, might be a necessity for Moscow after Russian forces stalled out in the central part of the country.


I would guess Poland and/or the Baltic States as the leading transfer candidates. Hopefully, they are all in good working condition and can enter the fray immediately.
 

Rogue Valley

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Why wouldn't they be in good shape? Russia is known for it's outstanding arsenal

Because the article says these are Soviet tanks, not Russian tanks. The USSR dissolved 30 years ago.

Outstanding Russian arsenal? That's not what I'm seeing on the battlefield.
 

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I would guess Poland and/or the Baltic States as the leading transfer candidates. Hopefully, they are all in good working condition and can enter the fray immediately.
If that's the case, what is the hold up on the Soviet era Mig fighters? Doesn't the same logic apply?
 

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If that's the case, what is the hold up on the Soviet era Mig fighters? Doesn't the same logic apply?

The MiGs wouldn't last long in that S-300/S-400 heavy environment.
 

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The MiGs wouldn't last long in that S-300/S-400 heavy environment.
And yet, that's exactly what Zolensky has been asking for time and time again.
I think NATO should stop trying to manage this war that far from the front lines, and just give Zolensky what he's asking for.
He's far closer to, and far more knowledgeable of, the situation there than anyone in NATO.
 

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And yet, that's exactly what Zolensky has been asking for time and time again.
I think NATO should stop trying to manage this war that far from the front lines, and just give Zolensky what he's asking for.
He's far closer to, and far more knowledgeable of, the situation there than anyone in NATO.

Zelenskyy is a comedian/politician with not a lick of military experience.
 

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Must be defensive tanks.
 

Jredbaron96

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If that's the case, what is the hold up on the Soviet era Mig fighters? Doesn't the same logic apply?

The Poles wouldn't give them up without getting something in return, most likely bloc F-16s.
 

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Zelenskyy is a comedian/politician with not a lick of military experience.
I don't pretend that he's not getting advice from this military leaders, of course he is.
No argument as to his experience, but he and his military have been doing pretty well with what they had / have been given.
 

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The Poles wouldn't give them up without getting something in return, most likely bloc F-16s.
I think I'd be inclined to pitch the Poles something like a 30% off deal, to get it done.
 

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I would guess Poland and/or the Baltic States as the leading transfer candidates. Hopefully, they are all in good working condition and can enter the fray immediately.
How long before Bozo Biden decides to renege, fearing it would "escalate things"?
 

Roadvirus

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Zelenskyy is a comedian/politician with not a lick of military experience.
And yet, he's managed to lead his country in beating the ever-loving snot out of a military that outnumbered AND outgunned his country 2 to 1.
 

maxparrish

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If that's the case, what is the hold up on the Soviet era Mig fighters? Doesn't the same logic apply?

I don't trust the NYT or any other source in the popular press to report military details accurately. A mechanized vehicle is often called "a tank". Until that is clarified the "tanks" may actually be the formerly east German 58 BMP-1s (refurbished to NATO standards by Czech Republic) that the Czech's announced they were selling to Ukraine. Those aren't tanks, they are infantry support vehicles, lightly armored small troop transports with a 20mm or 30mm gun... they have a role but they are not anything like a tank.

Moreover, the news story makes no sense. It said that these "tanks" would provide long range artillery. If they do they are not tanks or BMPs, they are self propelled long range guns.

The press release is a mess; in short, either they are trying to confuse the Russians or the people writing government's press releases or the NYT repeating them, is an idiot.
 

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And yet, that's exactly what Zolensky has been asking for time and time again.
I think NATO should stop trying to manage this war that far from the front lines, and just give Zolensky what he's asking for.
He's far closer to, and far more knowledgeable of, the situation there than anyone in NATO.

And, you might add, for the last month Ukraine has maintained a reduced but effective operation Mig and SU air force in the face of those same 300/400 air defense systems. So no, they won't "just get shot down" any more than the current batch preserved after the opening attack by Russia. Ukraine has learned how it can use them, and has realized that they are most effective in hitting less protected targets (of which there are many) and in luring Russian aircraft into ambushes in coordination with hidden Ukrainian ground fire.

What's holding them up is a hair in the Administrations ass; the Pentagon desk jockeys panicked after Blinken's deal with Poland was prematurely reveled, and they ran too Biden not to do this and Biden, as he is prone to do anyway, reacted with extreme caution. Now its a matter of ego, to give in to Zelensky and critics now would be an open admission the administration they FU'd up to begin with by killing the effort.

Sadly, now that they are most needed during the lull before the next major Russian offensive, as far as we know they haven't been prepared (which requires some work).

Moreover, there is a cadre of Ukrainian pilots who know how to fly and fight with the A-10s, they were given this training during joint exercises. The US has spare A-10s in storage...again sitting there and untouched.

There is an increasing perception, including by Ukraine, that Biden/Nato does not want Ukraine to win. That they are trying to play a game and manipulate the war to a stalemate and a forced partition of Ukraine.

There was a time I would find that ludicrous, but nothing surprises me out of Washington these days.
 
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Hamish Howl

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Who the hell wants Soviet-built tanks? All they do is burn.
 

Rogue Valley

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And yet, he's managed to lead his country in beating the ever-loving snot out of a military that outnumbered AND outgunned his country 2 to 1.

Like any wise leader, Zelenskyy listens to his General Staff on military matters.

Although Zelenskyy is the voice of wartime Ukraine, don't confuse this role with Zelenskyy conceiving of and ordering military ops.
 

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joluoto

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Several former east block members have these in military warehouses.
 
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