The recent string of decisions by Western governments to supply Ukraine with modern tanks and IFVs indicates a concerted push towards making sure Kyiv is ready repel an anticipated Russian springtime offensive, The New York Times wrote on Jan. 13.
The report notes that while Kyiv has been asking for heavy weapons since the very beginning of the Russian invasion, it took 10 grueling months of the war for the requests to finally be granted.
“While Ukraine has been requesting sophisticated tanks since the start of the war, the push to satisfy those pleas gained speed this week as the British and Polish governments publicly urged a change in the Western alliance’s stance,” the article reads.
“The British signaled that they were close to agreeing to send a small number of tanks, and the Polish government said it would happily send some of its German-made tanks, though Berlin would need to allow it.”
This rather sudden change of NATO policy is likely related to Ukraine getting ready for the fighting to expand back to February 2022 scale.
“Ukraine is set on pushing forward with its own military offensive, either in the depth of winter or after the muddy spring season,” NYT writes.
“Russia, too, is telegraphing a spring offensive, said a senior Western intelligence official, and Ukraine ‘doesn’t want them to catch their breath’ between now and when that intensified round of combat begins.”
Jan. 13 media reports suggested Germany will announce its decision to greenlight the supply of Leopard-2 main battle tanks to Ukraine during the Jan. 20 Ramstein meeting, where Ukraine and its international partners will discuss Kyiv’s current and future military needs.