Ukraine arms supplies not as fast as promises of abundance: WaPo
Although the West claims to back Ukraine, other important things on its wish list for weapons remain unmet, a new analysis by The Washington Post acknowledges.
An analysis by The Washington Post argued that the Pentagon's new plan to expedite the delivery of Abrams battle tanks and Poland and Slovakia's decision to provide fighter jets are just two examples of how the United States and its allies are stepping up support for Ukraine's military in response to alarm over recent incremental Russian advances and Russia expanding ties with China and Iran.
However, the delivery of assistance is taking too long, according to Ukrainian authorities, Western diplomats, and analysts, despite President Biden's commitment to supporting Kiev "for as long as it takes." Ukraine still lacks the manpower and weapons needed in the war as both sides prepare for a spring fighting season that might change the war's course, the paper stressed.
Despite the fact that Kiev enthusiastically welcomed the announcement of fighter jets, the war is primarily a close-range artillery battle, making the Soviet-era aircraft of limited effectiveness, it added.
Although they won't arrive until the fall, six months after a predicted spring Ukrainian counteroffensive, the Abrams tanks will reportedly contribute significant armored muscle.
“What’s clear is that time is on Russia’s side, meaning it has the soldiers and materiel to grind out a long war along a massive front,” said Rachel Rizzo, an analyst in the Atlantic Council’s Europe program as quoted by The Washington Post.
“Ukraine doesn’t have that advantage … If weapons aren’t delivered fast enough, it is extremely difficult for Ukraine to push back against Russian gains,” she added.
Delay is not the only challenge
The analysis also acknowledged that one obstacle among many is delay. Although the West claims to back Ukraine, other important things on its wish list for weapons remain unmet. From high-tech items like American F-16 fighter jets and longer-range rocket artillery to simple ammo, particularly rounds for its current Soviet-era tanks and artillery pieces, Kiev is pleading for it all.
Publicly, Ukraine’s leaders are faking confidence. “We expect increased supplies of exactly what we need,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said this week. “And we need it right now.”
However, there are real worries that the West hesitated for too long.
“The side with more resources arriving faster has the upper hand on the battlefield,” said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba as quoted by WP. “Artillery ammunition is the highest priority. … The faster we get more shells, the more Ukrainian lives will be saved; the more effective Ukrainian defense and counteroffensive operations, the sooner Ukraine will be able to end this war and restore peace through decisive battlefield victories.”
The United States and its allies have come under fire from the Kremlin for arming Ukraine, furiously maintaining that this just serves to prolong the war and prevents any diplomatic solution.
Some soldiers are being withheld by Ukraine from the fiercest fronts in the east of the country, many of whom have been receiving training overseas on brand new equipment that Western nations have promised to Ukraine, will make up newly built assault brigades, as per the paper.
For the fighting vehicles and tanks that Western nations are sending, Kiev, for instance, is developing special battalions, according to officials. About 30 of the combat vehicles will be assigned to a battalion that is organized around Bradley fighting vehicles.
Yet even those supplies that have already been committed to could experience additional delays if transport and supply hubs are overloaded with equipment delivery, potentially giving Russia the upper hand.