Three urgent needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
It is not necessary to talk about the fact that pieces of heavy weaponry, which have already begun to arrive, will now be thrown, relatively speaking, into Vuhledar, Maryinka, or Bakhmut
Today, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Defense Forces of Ukraine, have three urgent needs. This is ammunition in a fairly large line (from ammunition to air defense systems, ending with artillery). This is armored vehicles, and it is about accelerated and safe delivery of heavy armored vehicles, primarily tanks. Not only tanks, but combat equipment in the shortest possible time too, in order to calculate the logistics necessary to be able to form two, preferably three tank brigades from the weapons supplied by partners in the spring. Well, and the third issue is the parallel training of personnel on long-range air defense systems — we are talking about Patriot and Samp-T.
As far as I understand, at Ramstein (I have not seen official information on this topic), the question of making direct supplies of weapons supplies to Kyiv directly from manufacturers according to a simplified scheme, bypassing all kinds of governmental and state barriers, was also discussed under the guarantees and possibly under the financing of the governments of these countries. It would simply significantly simplify the delivery procedure, because what we receive is the so-called surplus – meaning from the warehouses of the Ministry of Defense of the respective countries. There is a need to negotiate directly with the manufacturers in order to fill those losses that are and, unfortunately, will still be during the conduct of this war.
The issue of increasing the production of ammunition, in particular 150 mm shells, was discussed as well — on the one hand, the countries that supply us with ammunition could replenish their stocks, on the other, the needs of Ukraine, which are increasing due to the use of this ammunition, can be met in the necessary way.
Ukrainian tankers are trained on an accelerated course, because the full course can take up to six months or even more. Because, for example, complex systems, such as the Leopard-2 tank, can be taught quickly enough to people who are already professional tank operators. But in order to bring their actions to the level of automatic reflex, in order to coordinate the actions of the crew, in order to learn to work in the company-battalion-brigade system, in order to use the potential of this tank to the maximum, it takes much more time. Talented people who are able not only to learn, but also to teach others if necessary, are selected for these schools.
Soledar and Bakhmut battles are not always typical
But here is another problem — the tanks that will arrive are tanks of different models and modifications. Sometimes they differ significantly. This will create additional problems during operation, during repair, and during their direct combat use. This should also be kept in mind by our troops when they have to use these weapons on the battlefield.
I would like to note that the Soledar and Bakhmut battles are not always typical, because these are contact battles, where enemy’s armor is used in small amounts. Pay attention that near Vuhledar, for example, where not only ATGMs or ATGMs, but also artillery worked quite well, destroying enemy armored vehicles. But enemy armored vehicles are used very rarely near Bakhmut and Soledar. These are contact battles mainly conducted by personnel armed with small arms, sometimes with the help of light armored vehicles, less often - infantry fighting vehicles.
This war proved once again that, first of all, this is a war of artillery, a war of intelligence. And that is why we remind our partners (by the way, they do not forget) about the need to supply ATGMs of various types – for anti-tank weapons which are controlled, primarily by infantry. We still emphasize that, first of all, we need an increase in artillery barrels and an increase in ammunition. This problem is very serious. It is being resolved, but unfortunately, our partners cannot yet satisfy the needs of the armed forces in the conditions of a very tough war.
It is quite difficult to assess the work of Ukroboronprom objectively and the military-industrial complex in general for objective reasons. For those who do not know, I will simply explain that any product, any means of damage, any unit of equipment is a chain with a large number of different enterprises. And, relatively speaking, if your enterprise is located in the occupied territory or is completely destroyed, then the possibility to quickly make the product is absent, or becomes significantly more difficult.
Let me remind you that part of our enterprises, even those that have not been destroyed, are constantly under attack. Missile strikes are carried out not only on critical infrastructure (for example, substations or power plants), but also on objects of the military—industrial complex. If they don't write about it publicly, that doesn't mean that these strikes don't exist (and they don't report it publicly for obvious reasons). Some of these enterprises have been relocated. And companies now, despite the fact that they have the opportunity to use so-called armor for their employees (that is, they are given the opportunity to avoid mobilization if they are truly specialized specialists necessary for the production of critical elements or weapons), still suffer from a lack of qualified personnel. There is a problem with materials that are abroad for various reasons, both objective and subjective.
Therefore, it is very difficult to objectively assess, given the circumstances in which the military industry is currently operating. I will say that it is very difficult for it to produce. It is impossible to say that it fully meets the needs of the Armed Forces. Unfortunately, in this sense, for objective reasons, we are very dependent on our partners.
Can we expect that Ukrainian troops are now receiving such assistance with equipment and weapons? Equipment comes in small batches. Using a technique with teaspoons is ineffective. This use of technology is in its burning, sorry for the word.
We don't get as much equipment as we would like. But it is already noticeable. This is much more than we received before. Earlier, there was no talk of modern heavy equipment at all. We received Soviet, post-Soviet modernized, and non-modernized pieces. Now we will receive quite modern heavy armored vehicles. We are talking about BMPs, armored personnel carriers, Archer self-propelled guns (in my opinion, this is one of the best). Tanks, in particular, the Leopard 2. But their use makes sense if they will be combined into tactical units, in brigades. And, taking into account their small number, they must be used, not in defense, but in the offensive, not in pieces, but with a strong fis– and when all the necessary equipment will have been distributed among military units, and the personnel will have been trained and coordinated.
It is not necessary to talk about the fact that those pieces of heavy weapons, which have already begun to arrive, will be dropped, conditionally speaking, into Vuhledar, Maryinka, or Bakhmut. Although I am not a military person either by position or by education, in this case I am referring to the point of view of the people who will make the relevant decisions. So I don't think that such a decision will be made. Undoubtedly, our soldiers who are holding the defense (now we have moved to defense) are trying to conduct this defense actively — not only to retreat, but also to counterattack; not only to hold positions, but also to try to drive the enemy away. But, of course, resources are involved there, including, unfortunately, those brigades or units of brigades that were preparing for the offensive.
These are the demands of the war. But to talk about throwing new weapons at some of these directions - I don't think it's appropriate and I don't think that the general staff or the commander-in-chief or the commander of the ground forces will dare to make such a decision.
Because there must be a resource, there must be a reserve. Just remember: back in the day, when we started receiving armored combat vehicles, it was a classic zoo. They came from different countries, in different conditions. M109 self-propelled artillery systems began to arrive from several countries, again in various states, and we received a little more towed artillery — 155 mm, 105 mm. I remember such, you know, sometimes even half-hysterical criticisms — and where is everything? And why is it not at the front? And where did it all go? Then there was an offensive - one and two, and we saw where it was.
If the army does not have a reserve, then, sorry, it is very difficult to count on victory. I repeat once more, we are forced to use a part of our reserves even in defensive operations, using those people and those types of weapons that were being held back for the offensive. The situation is like this.
The simple availability of resources, the availability of reserves and personnel, and forces and means of destruction, and artillery, armored vehicles - if this is not in your reserves, then you have no chance of an offensive, and therefore there is simply no chance of victory. And it is very difficult. It is always such a delicate matter, it is a very difficult art, and I hope that our high-level military leaders have sufficiently mastered it.
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