On Feb. 3, German media reported that Berlin has approved the transfer of retired Leopard 1A5 tanks, starting with an initial package of 29 refurbished vehicles. A mid-Cold War predecessor to the much better-armored, 60-to-70-ton Leopard 2 tanks Germany recently authorized for donation to Ukraine, the 40-to-45-ton Leopard 1 is more agile and can hit targets with its 105-millimeter gun while on the move.
While Kyiv is obviously excited to receive advanced Leopard 2 and M1 Abrams tanks that overmatch Russian armor, it also simply needs more tanks — any tanks — to generate mass across the frontline. That is why it might be interested in older tanks that are sitting in storage and can be bought cheaply, especially as it is unclear whether the Leopard 2 donations can account for the hundreds of tanks Kyiv says it needs.
If the U.S. and Germany are donating retired HAWK missiles and Gepard anti-aircraft vehicles, some wonder why the West should not send other old warhorses — tanks like America’s M60 Pattons, France’s AMX-30s, or Romanian TR-85s? Let’s look at some potential sources of vintage tanks.
The Leopard 1 originated from a joint French-German tank development program in the 1950s and 1960s. At that time, anti-tank munitions seemed to be outpacing the viability of tank armor, so the concept relied on relatively minimal armor, focusing instead on mobility and firepower. As happened with many Franco-German arms projects, disagreements — in this case over which gun to install — terminated the cooperation, leading both to produce distinct but conceptually similar vehicles.
The Leopard 1’s armor doesn’t exceed 70 mm, less than what is found on the turret of a World War II-era Sherman tank. But its stabilized 105 mm L7A3 gun is accurate on the move. When using modern kinetic sabot, it still threatens many Russian tanks, though likely not the latest T-90M and T-80BVM. The Leopard 1 can also be refitted with its successor’s more powerful 120mm gun.
German companies Rheinmetall and FFG reported holding 88 and 99 Leopard 1A5s respectively in storage that they were hoping to sell to Ukraine. The 1A5 model benefits from using an EMES-18 fire control system, which it shares in common with the Leopard 2A6s that Germany is giving to Ukraine. EMES-18 incorporates an ATTICA thermal imager for night combat, and it can engage targets up to 2.5 miles away.
Ukrainian maintainers already have some experience with this vehicle, as they’re operating 30 Gepard anti-aircraft Flakpanzers and 15 Bergepanzer 2 armored recovery vehicles that are based on the Leopard 1’s hull. This Leopard 1-based fleet will be expanded with 16 Biber bridgelayers and five Dachs armored engineering vehicles.
Belgium is also looking into buying back some of 50 retired Leopard 1A5BEs from the company OIP Land Systems. (Brussels retired its last 132 Leopard 1A5BEs in 2014.) This model has non-standard sights and fire control systems, which are capable of detection out to 5 miles and identification at just 1.2 miles; Honeywell gun stabilizers; an ELCAN rangefinder; and additional protective side-skirt armor.
However, Belgium’s defense minister claims that OIP wants 500,000 euros to buy back tanks that Belgium sold for less than one-tenth that price and that have not been refurbished — OIP claims the high, quoted figures include necessary refurbishment. OIP also holds 38 Gepard flak tanks and 112 Austrian Sk-105 light tanks, but it has been forbidden by Vienna from exporting the latter.
If Brussels does buy back the Leopard 1s, it reportedly might be more expedient to swap in a new Cockerill 3105 gun turret entirely rather than upgrade the original one. This light-weight aluminum turret, test-installed in 2022, weighs 3.5 tons less and combines a stabilized, autoloading 105 mm gun and 7.62 mm machine gun, with stabilized thermal sights for both gunner and commander and digital controls supporting hunter-killer engagement methods.
Two NATO members still operate numerous Leopard 1s: Greece has 520 Leopard 1A5GRs and Leopard 1A4GRs, while Turkey has 397 Leopard 1A1s and 1A3s. Former Leopard 1 operators include Australia (71), Canada (66), Denmark (230), Italy (920), the Netherlands (468), and Norway (172). Perhaps some of these are recuperable, though mothballed vehicles would likely require significant refurbishing to be made combat-ready.
Unfortunately, Brazil, another Leopard 1 operator, defers to Moscow in refusing to sell back ammunition and parts to Germany. Switzerland, meanwhile, may change its neutrality laws to allow sales of 105 mm ammunition.
MORE: Ukraine Needs M1 Abrams Tanks Now (But Will Have to Wait)
MORE: Joe Biden Won’t Send F-16 Fighters to Ukraine
MORE: Why Putin Should Fear the F-16 Fighter
MORE: Why Donald Trump Can’t Win in 2024
The 40-ton AMX-30B was France’s take on the Leopard 1 concept. It has a higher velocity CN105 F1 gun and a max of 80 mm of armor. French AMX-30B2s specially outfitted with Castor thermal sights and missile jammers successfully battled Iraqi forces alongside U.S. paratroopers during the 1991 Gulf War.
Large numbers of AMX-30s were retired by France (1,100), Greece (190), and Spain (299). Some of these tanks may be fit for reactivation. Outside NATO, Bosnia, Chile, Croatia, and Saudi Arabia have AMX-30s in storage. If restored to service, these could be paired with AuF1 self-propelled howitzers, which France is phasing out of service; AMX-30R air defense vehicles with short-range Roland missiles; and AMX-30 DCA anti-aircraft gun vehicles — all of these are based on the AMX-30’s hull.
M60 Patton for Ukraine?
The M60 is the ultimate evolution of a family of tanks that began with the M26 Pershing late in World War II and was followed by the M46/M47/M48 Patton. The M60’s designers didn’t think heavy armor was passe, so this American tank, weighing as much as 55 tons, boasts an equivalent of 258 mm of armor. This is still inadequate to prevent penetration by modern light anti-tank weapons, though some M60s have been fitted with explosive-reactive armor tiles to mitigate that vulnerability. The tank’s M68 gun is a U.S. variant of the Leopard’s L7.
While the U.S. doesn’t retain many M60s beyond those used for museum displays, target practice, and submerged artificial reefs, thousands remain in service abroad, including in Egypt (2,300, half in storage); Saudi Arabia (1,300); Turkey (more than 1,500, including upgraded M60Ts); and Morocco (535). Furthermore, countries that retired large M60 fleets in the last decade include Greece (669), Italy (300), Portugal (96), and Spain (400).
The most common variants are the M60A1 used by the U.S. Marine Corps and the M60A3 used by the Army, both of which come in subvariants with passive thermal sights. There are also several service-life extension packages that install the powerful 120 mm gun used by Abrams tanks, as well as modern sights and fire control systems. While battling around Kuwait’s international airport during the 1991 Gulf War, Marine Corps M60A1s knocked out 100 Iraqi tanks, including T-72s. However, more recently Turkish M60s suffered heavy losses to anti-tank missiles in battles against ISIS and PKK fighters.
The M60’s hull is also used in the M728 combat engineering vehicle, the M88 armored recovery vehicle, and the M60 AVLB bridge-layer. Ukraine is already receiving M88s to support its fleet of Bradley fighting vehicles.
TR-85 for Ukraine?
Romania has avoided major arms transfers to neighboring Ukraine, save for a transfer of 28 T-72 tanks, only five of which were in operational condition. Still, Bucharest has played a major role taking in Ukrainian refugees and providing humanitarian aid.
But Romania plans to retire its fleet of 249 TR-85 and 54 TR-85M1 tanks, replacing them with Leopards 2s or Abrams. That could create an opening to donate its indigenous TR-85s, which combine the lengthened hull of a 1950s-era Soviet T-55 tank with a new turret and an 800-horsepower powerpack reverse-engineered from the Leopard 1. However, unlike the Leopard 1, its 100 mm-caliber gun is unlikely to penetrate Russian frontal tank armor.
The modernized TR-85M1 Bizonul model is upgraded to NATO standards, with a Cyclops-M fire control system, passive thermal sights, and electrical gun stabilization to achieve decent accuracy. For protection, it also sports a laser-warning receiver; smoke grenade launchers; mine protection modifications; an automated fire suppression system; and spaced add-on armor that enables its sloped turret armor to rate a respectable 580-mm RHA equivalent.
Modernized T-62s or T-55s?
Ukraine is likely to scrounge some additional T-72 tanks in 2023 — but would it go bargain-hunting for that tank’s obsolete predecessors? Photos show Ukraine had already captured more than 40 Russian T-62Ms and MVs by January 2023. These vehicles are armed with manually loaded 115 mm smoothbore guns, some of which are now in Ukrainian service. Perhaps Kyiv could purchase additional T-62s from Egypt, which reportedly has 500 of them — 300 in storage.
Ukraine also is inducting 28 Slovakian M-55S tanks. These are ancient Soviet T-55s refitted with the capable L7 gun and modern fire control systems. It could look for more modernized T-55s in Romania, which retains 108 active T-55AM2s. This upgraded Czech model is fitted with Kladivo fire control systems, laser rangefinders, and crosswind masts to improve accuracy, as well as add-on steel BDD armor, new smoke grenade launchers, and an uprated 620-horsepower engine.
Vintage Tanks: Pros and Cons
Older Western tanks would not outmatch Russia’s standard T-72B tanks in armor and firepower. They would be vulnerable even to the light anti-tank weapons being used in Ukraine. The more modern ones could at best lean on their passive thermal sights and advanced fire control systems to carry out accurate hit-and-run attacks at range — preferably while screened by infantry.
Defense analyst Craig Hooper argues such vehicles could be considered useful as defensive tanks — they can carry out ambushes and short-distance counterattacks more effectively than assault and breakthrough operations.
Infantry support remains a useful role for tanks, if less glorified than maneuver operations. Ukraine’s light motorized brigades often have only a single tank company for support. In the case of Territorial Defense Forces and many National Guard brigades, there are no tanks attached at all. So-called infantry tanks might require a slighter logistical tail than those massed in maneuver-oriented tank battalions.
But critics might argue that introducing and sustaining even more types of armored vehicles into Ukraine’s forces is impractical. Ukraine’s military already operates a diverse hodgepodge of armored personnel carriers and artillery given by Western donors. This is a logistician’s nightmare: Every new vehicle type requires repair depots and supply links for spare parts and overhauls, as well as the formation of new training cadres to churn out qualified crew and maintainers.
Considering some generals argue it’s inefficient to send more than one type of modern Western tank to Ukraine, presumably they would argue against incorporating outdated ones. It is one thing to acquire outdated arms when alternatives are unavailable. It is quite another matter to send men to battle in vulnerable Pattons and T-62s when Abrams and Leopard 2s are trickling in.
These older vehicles will also usually require refurbishing to be useful — modernizations could cost $1 million or more per vehicle. That reduces their cost appeal, although it is worth remembering that brand-new Western tanks cost $8 million or more.
While delivering obsolete tanks must not subtract from the transfers of modern ones, Ukraine does require quantity as well as quality to win, particularly as Russia leans on mass mobilization and the reactivation of outdated armored vehicles to expand its initially undersized forces. That’s why Ukraine will likely accept the aging Leopard 1s, and it may yet consider other options.
Sébastien Roblin writes on the technical, historical, and political aspects of international security and conflict for publications including The National Interest, NBC News, Forbes.com, War is Boring and 19FortyFive, where he is Defense-in-Depth editor. He holds a Master’s degree from Georgetown University and served with the Peace Corps in China. You can follow his articles on Twitter.
February 6, 2023 at 4:30 pm
Are such old tanks any better than the ‘sophisticated & advanced’ bulats and oplots of the ukro forces.
What happened to the highly praised Ukrainian tanks. The ones western analysts used to describe as the best of Soviet-era tank designs.
February 6, 2023 at 6:50 pm
Sure, send in the tanks, older weapons are better than none.
But don’t hold your breath, as the prior commenter states: what happened to equipment Ukraine had at the start of the war?
It was “burned.” And, the “burn rate” was so high the collective West is having a hard time resupplying Ukraine with weapons.
And, it’s the men, soldiers, who make all the difference.
Now, Ukraine is “drafting” 16 year old’s… and as high as 60 year old’s…
You can have all the weapons you want, but without the soldiers, to man such weapons… it makes no difference.
If the Russians were able to “burn” so many weapons before… aren’t they able to “burn” any new weapons as well… and the soldiers, too.
When does it become immoral to fight to the last Ukrainian?
If you have a conscience… when does that kick in?
Seriously, is your ego and vicarious need to “WIN”, “WIN”, “WIN” at any price so great… that actual Ukrainians’ fate doesn’t matter?
Look in the mirror and think about it.
from Russia with love
February 7, 2023 at 6:04 am
“If you have a conscience… when does that kick in?”
what kind of conscience are you talking about when it comes to 16 million hectares of agricultural land and titanium deposits?
another thing is interesting, what will the Ukrainians do when they run out? who will save the junta? send Europeans?
February 7, 2023 at 10:26 am
The war to the last Ukrainian. All for the profit of American corporations.
February 7, 2023 at 10:50 am
rom Russia with love
“another thing is interesting, what will the Ukrainians do when they run out? who will save the junta? send Europeans?”
Poles, Romanians and “Baltic tigers” are already in line. And some are fighting like that. Some have already been buried.
February 7, 2023 at 11:23 am
LoL. the Russian trolls come out in force on this one. Back here in the real world it’s actually Russia that has been the largest ‘donor’ of tanks to Ukraine as Ukraine has captured hundreds from them. While Ukraine has certainly taken losses…. they pale in comparison to the losses Russia is taking.
The BIG difference being…and this is something I clearly mistakenly underestimated… is that Russian leadership has no qualms about throwing away their own soldiers lives with insane tactics of human waves, and completely exposed armored advances.
Ukraine does not do anything of the sort, and values the lives of its soldiers and citizens.
Yesterday alone Russia lost over 30 armored vehicles assaulting Vuhledar in a tactically stupid assault that left their people completely out in the open with no cover where others before them have been picked apart as well.
This tactic has had more effect for Russia in Bakhmut and Soledar, and after 7+ months of trying Russia has made some gains in this area.
They have massively scaled down their objectives to accomplish this, which allowed them to focus a larger amount of forces into a very small area.
The problem for Russia is that Ukraine is still rope-a-doping them…and conducting fighting retreats while inflicting massive losses on them. And there are even more well defended lines behind Bakhmut and Soledar.
And to bring it back to tanks, contrary to Jim’s faux notion of smarts… Ukraine has a lot of them, they just happen to need more to take back their country. That’s how offense/defense ratios work.
As well, the promise of more allows them to know they can conduct another counter attack with the tanks they do have, at the time of their choosing, with the knowledge that there are replacement vehicles on the way to backfill any future losses.
And they have more strategic weapons coming in the form of GLSDB, along with another 18 HIMARS launchers which will help shape the battlefield those tanks are meant to fight on.
However, one of the great benefits of GLSDB is that it doesnt even require a HIMARS launcher -though HIMARS does fire them. The brains of it are in the nose of SDB. It can be programmed with a flight path and gps coordinates so all it needs is a tube on the back of a truck to be launched and the smarts in the nose of SDB take it from there.
That makes for a more distributed network of launchers that are expendable and can be driven a lot closer to the front line to fire. Which brings close to %90 of Russian occupied Ukraine as well as a greater portion of Northern Crimea, in range of GLSDB.
Bottom line: you Putinista trolls live in a weird fantasy world. Between wasting their own soldiers with human wave attacks and firing on Ukrainian cities for no reason other than to terrorize and kill civilians…The leadership of Russia has absolutely no regard for human life.
You people pouring out to defend them says a lot about who you are as well.
Have a liberating day
February 7, 2023 at 1:07 pm
From Russia with love,
Your implication is right:
It’s about GREED… the desire to appropriate other’s property… that is what war has always been about… dressed up with morality, of one kind or another, down through the ages.
That’s why “defensive” war is (at least in America) always the desirable cloaking of war aims.
Although, I do believe you have the right to defend oneself against others who want to take your life and/or your property… but since everybody (at least in today’s world) claims their actions are defensive… one must take a hard & close look to see who is the aggressor… it’s a tough thing to get right because often, people have mixed motives or hide their true motives.
Still, we have to do our best to divine what is what, what’s really going on, what are the motives of war proponents.
Hard to do, but because defensive war is moral, we have to make the distinction between the aggressor and the defender.
February 7, 2023 at 3:21 pm
If someone could send a couple of vintage tanks to the Cato Institute, it could be healthy for the US.
Dr. M. L. Shanks
February 7, 2023 at 5:55 pm
Seems to me that there are more modern weapons in being mothballed that we ought to be sending the Ukrainians…
Last year, the US army mothballed all 130+ M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun Systems, because they saw it as easier to improve the conventional Stryker with the addition of a 30mm gun than the M1128’s 105mm which made it too heavy for C130 transport or the modification to V-bottom armor prefered to cope with AT mine and improvised explosive threats.
February 7, 2023 at 7:03 pm
Gary, you’re like a scratched vinyl record of Baghdad Bob.
It’s irritating… most scratched records eventually get thrown out… your bad recording’s time will come when the Banderite, neo-Nazi Kiev regime is thrown in the trash.
It’s just a matter of time now.
Get to know it.
February 7, 2023 at 7:39 pm
Gary, you’re concerned about the Russians… I’m touched.
February 7, 2023 at 9:53 pm
LoL…just because you scream ‘neonazi’ and wish away all the evidence to the contrary that you clearly cant wrap your head around… doesnt make your faux notion of the situation accurate.
You are still pretending you understand Nazi and Russian history better than someone who’s family has experienced it and studied it for generations.
Speaking of broken records…you’re shattered.
In case you hadnt noticed, I admitted a big mistake. You should try that sometime, you have plenty to work with.
I completely underestimated Putin’s ability to throw away Russian lives. And to a certain extent, it has actually worked to stop Ukraine from liberating more of their land.
Of course the weather keeping the ground muddy has more to do with Ukraine not making further advances, but it is undeniable that Putin throwing so many Russians to their deaths to fulfill his imperial fantasies has contributed to Ukraine being unable to make further large advances.
You have never come close to admitting anything you’ve said has been wrong. Which is remarkable because most of what you say is clearly wrong. You just continue to pretend you have a grip on it regardless of all evidence to the contrary.
Here’s one you can try… you recently said Russia wouldnt be goaded into starting offensives early. But that is exactly what is happening in several places…and they are largely getting creamed. Even when they make advances in areas like Soledar and Bakhmut, it comes at an extremely high cost of men and equipment.
The Russians love symbolism, and they are trying to give Putin the capture of a complete Oblast before Feb 24. AND, they are clearly worried about the coming influx of tanks to Ukraine, and is trying to make advances before they get there.
I counted about 450 more coming between all the western tanks, and other countries about to provide Russian T72 and other modifications of Russian tanks. I wouldnt be surprised if Biden sends another 100+ Abrams once the Ukrainians prove they use them well.
All the focus on tanks shouldnt take away from how important all the IFVs like Bradley and Marder will be. More protection of Ukrainian troops maneuvering, and a lot more TOW anti tank missiles blowing up Russian tanks.
A lot more artillery is coming soon as well, and as important as it is…there is nothing more important than GLSDB to shape the battlefield for everything else. The US has been coy about when it will arrive. Some reports say 9 months, some say 6 weeks or less.
I suspect that they will only give a definitive answer when Russian bases start blowing up 140km from the front line.
Until then I wouldnt be surprised to see the Ukrainians content to ride out the rest of winter from most of their defensive positions and let the Russians get stuck in the mud trying to advance as Ukraine kills as many of them as possible.
In Vuhledar the Russians just keep coming up the exact same roads where the Ukrainians have massive fire power fixed on. Sometimes referred to as a tower defense. As long as the Ukrainians dont run out of bullets, the Russian can repeatedly try and advance like Zombies as they have been, and they will have no success.
In a tower defense, the key is simply getting the right defensive emplacements in the right places. But what makes it really possible to defend against such lopsided numbers is knowing that the brainless opponent will follow the same path again. And again. And again.
They have no choice, the mud makes off road maneuvers impossible, and the Russian command is demanding advances that Russian forces on the ground can’t deliver.
In some ways, this is a replication in miniature of Russia’s biggest defeat so far in the invasion: Those “40 kilometer convoys” that were supposed to crush Kyiv. Lining up slow moving vehicles and parading them past ambush points was a big part of why Zelensky is still in his home, and not leading a ragtag militia in Ukraine’s western mountains.
I made another mistake anticipating Kreminna would have been taken already. The weather has simply not cooperated enough in freezing the ground to make that possible. Too much mud still exists. As far as I can tell this is the warmest winter in Ukraine ever.
That’s why Ukraine has not made that final charge for Svatove or Kreminna. With current conditions limiting the approaches to trying to bring in lines of forces at a few points, any of them could end up with the kind of losses Russia is seeing a Vuhledar.
Ukraine isnt going to do that. It’s certainly not going to do it over and over.
And I have never been so fine with being wrong than to have missed the timeline on the liberation of Kreminna if it means saving more Ukrainian lives.
In other places like Soledar and Bakhmut, Ukraine’s flexible defense strategy aims to keep as many Ukrainian troops alive while fighting in retreat until the conditions are right for counter attacks.
Bottom line: I dont care much about Russians willing to die for Putin. I do care about Russia getting past its imperial past and acting like a good neighbor in the 21st century.
Have a liberating day.
February 8, 2023 at 1:03 am
@404, I love how you ignored all the Russian military equipment that has been destroyed by the Ukrainians. The Russians have been using T-60s due to shortages.
February 8, 2023 at 1:05 am
The Ukrainians have been doing an amazing job of learning to use west military equipment. It will be interesting to see what occurs this spring.
from Russia with love
February 8, 2023 at 5:16 am
“Poles, Romanians and “Baltic tigers” are already in line. And some are fighting like that. Some have already been buried.”
There is one inconvenient problem here. All these countries are part of NATO. if one of them begins to act directly, that is, officially uses their troops on the territory of Ukraine, then they automatically fall out of the scope of Article 5 of the NATO Charter and become a legitimate target for Russian missiles. if we take into account the requirements of Russia on security, more specifically, to move the NATO infrastructure to the borders of 1993, then for Russia this is a real gift that allows to destroy this infrastructure on legal grounds without getting involved in a direct conflict with the entire NATO bloc.
I doubt that such a gift will be made.
Hungary seems to have relied on an agreement with Russia over the western regions of Ukraine after the end of the conflict.
Romania can try but only in a solid company, for example with France and Germany, which is unlikely.
Poland? Poland can break into direct conflict. The current Polish authorities really need to annex the western territories of Ukraine to Poland. Poland is already taking the most active part in the conflict, but at the same time it has suffered the most serious losses. more than 300 tanks and almost a third of the regular military. not a volunteer, but a military personnel. there is still Belarus nearby in which a solid contingent of Russian troops is now standing. in the event of direct intervention, it is not known what this group will do, whether it will go to Ukraine or go to punch a corridor to Kaliningrad.
“Baltic tigers”? ???? before the conflict, they did not pose a serious military threat, but after they transferred the bulk of their reserves to Ukraine, this is an extremely dubious fighting force.
there remains the possibility of a direct conflict with the entire NATO bloc, but in this case, you must first familiarize yourself with Russia’s nuclear doctrine. the lousiest option with the very nuclear war that no one seems to want.
from Russia with love
February 8, 2023 at 8:14 am
I can share with you the details of what is happening on the Russian side.
very interesting is the difference between the reasons for the start of the conflict voiced in Western sources and the reasons why Russia launched a special operation. in your media they write about Ukraine’s entry into NATO, about some kind of Putin’s imperial ambitions to seize the territory of Ukraine and other nonsense. everything is much simpler and, by the way, it was announced publicly, but when it was voiced by the Western press, it was ignored. a month before the start of the special operation, the Russian Defense Ministry gathered foreign military attachés, including the United States and Ukraine, and officially announced that in the event of an attempt to resolve the issue with the Donbass by force, Russia, as the guarantor of the Minsk agreements on the part of the LDNR, would take the most stringent measures. after Ukraine launched massive shelling of the LDNR on February 19, Russia launched a special operation on February 24.
Now about the purpose of the special operation. the declared goals of the special operation are the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. what does this mean? the destruction of the military potential of Ukraine and the destruction of the puppet regime in Ukraine. and yes, replacing it with a pro-Russian puppet regime. ???? or the inclusion of territories in Russia. Given the amount of debt that Ukraine has accumulated, this municipality will never be able to be independent and disobey the West. what should be understood about this? Yes, the entry of territories under the control of Russia will take place, but this is not the goal, these are the consequences. this is the reason why the Russian Defense Ministry so easily gave up the territories liberated in the first months of the conflict and switched to the tactics of a slow offensive with minimizing their own losses and inflicting maximum damage to the enemy. after the pro-Western regime collapses, if nothing radically changes, then it is inevitable that those who supported the regime will be forced to flee. remember the famous photo of a helicopter over Saigon or an American transport plane in Afghanistan? the rest will support Russia and will gladly join the Russian Federation as Crimea. at the same time, Ukrainian loans will have to be forgotten, as well as property on the territory of Ukraine.
with regard to NATO, Russia presented its security requirements. now no one remembers about them, but for Russia this document has not lost its relevance. this means that Russia is still insisting on the return of NATO infrastructure to the 1993 borders, and after the end of the conflict in Ukraine, this issue will be raised again.
we will see how the situation will develop in the future. in the formula for the further development of events, I do not understand the motivation and goals of Western countries. did they seriously believe that they could cause some economic damage to a country that is independent in industrial, energy, food, financial and scientific support? also with such an industrialized, friendly neighbor as China. and it’s not clear to me what was the point of switching from cheap Russian hydrocarbons to expensive hydrocarbons from the United States and already the same expensive Russian ones bought from intermediaries …
February 8, 2023 at 11:10 am
“In Vuhledar the Russians just keep coming up the exact same roads where the Ukrainians have massive firepower fixed on. Sometimes referred to as a tower defense. As long as the Ukrainians don’t run out of bullets, the Russian can repeatedly try and advance like Zombies as they have been, and they will have no success.”
The reality is far from your propaganda cliches. YouTube is full of videos that show exactly how Russian attacks are carried out. First, a barrage of artillery fire falls on the positions of the Ukrainian troops. Tanks and infantry come forward under his cover. The infantry is moving forward, and the tanks are suppressing the remaining machine-gun and artillery crews, constantly maneuvering to avoid returning fire. If the return fire is strong, then the Russians withdraw and launch artillery again. This tactic allows you to avoid heavy losses and kill many Ukrainian soldiers. Videos with kilometers of graves of Ukrainian soldiers are available. Where are the same videos from the Russians?? Those that are do not go to any comparison with the Ukrainian ones. Where are the murdered Russians
February 8, 2023 at 11:19 am
“I made another mistake anticipating Kreminna would have been taken already. The weather has simply not cooperated enough in freezing the ground to make that possible. Too much mud still exists. As far as I can tell this is the warmest winter in Ukraine ever.”
I have already said it several times and I will say it again: “You know less about war than my pig knows about costume jewelry.” Your predictions are wrong. When they don’t come true, you find 1000 reasons why such wonderful predictions turned out to be false. The weather equally interferes with both sides. However, the Russians are liberating one locality after another. The Russians have a saying that can be roughly translated as “a bad dancer is always hindered by his testicles.” You’re a bad dancer, Gary. And your sources of information are biased.
February 8, 2023 at 11:24 am
From Russia with Fraud.
Hahaha… you must be trying for a higher position in the government of Propagandistan.
Your feeble attempt to push those talking points makes me laugh.
No one was threatening Russia. Its ‘security’ concerns, or whatever you want to call them, is naked cover for land and resource grab in Ukraine. Same with the nonsense about ‘nazis’ and debt. Epic fail.
Ukraine is a resource rich country with an interesting mix of urban and rural resources. They are an integral part of both the world food supply with their agriculture and the technology sector echo system.
If Russia would stop meddling in their affairs, especially things like the attempted coup in 2014 to scuttle Ukraine joining the EU after 3 years of negotiations…Ukraine would have a much better chance at a better economy and getting itself out of debt.
But it isnt just the EU deal, Russia saw Ukraine as taking market share in oil and gas, with the potential to become more independent of Moscow, and Putin wasnt having any of it.
In August 2012, Ukraine announced an accord with an Exxon led group to extract oil and gas from the depths of Ukraine’s Black Sea waters. The Exxon team had outbid Lukoil, a Russian company. Ukraine’s state geology bureau said development of the field would cost up to $12 billion.
There are a lot of resources in the area, and this is part of what led to Russia annexing Crimea.
Then, just as now, Russia has combined its imperialist land grab dreams with naked state mafia style theft of Ukraine’s resources.
It uses a bunch of the excuses that you do [and more] to mask its real intentions, but at the end of the day Putin’s Russia is nothing but a bunch of thieves taking what belongs to other people. And you are their lackey making feeble excuses for it.
Oh ya, speaking of Nazis…one of Russia’s most famous Nazis just died. Russian media reports that Russian right wing ultra nationalist mercenary [aka Nazi] Igor Mangushev, who called for the genocide of Ukrainians, and performed on stage with the skull of an alleged defender of Mariupol… was shot in the skull under unclear circumstances.
He just died in the hospital.
February 8, 2023 at 11:29 am
from Russia with love
“There is one inconvenient problem here. All these countries are part of NATO. if one of them begins to act directly, that is, officially uses their troops on the territory of Ukraine, then they automatically fall out of the scope of Article 5 of the NATO Charter and become a legitimate target for Russian missiles. if we take into account the requirements of Russia on security, more specifically, to move the NATO infrastructure to the borders of 1993, then for Russia this is a real gift that allows to destroy this infrastructure on legal grounds without getting involved in a direct conflict with the entire NATO bloc.”
I don’t know, unfortunately or fortunately, but the NATO generals are too cowardly for this. An Austrian general recently explained how they act: a person officially resigns from the army and goes to fight in Ukraine as a volunteer. So far so. We’ll see what happens next. Judging by the pace of the war, Ukraine will have no soldiers left by the fall. In Kiev and Lviv (possibly in other cities too), ads are pasted all over the city: “I will break your arm (leg) inexpensively under anesthesia.” Few people want to go to war.
February 8, 2023 at 12:07 pm
Gary, occasionally, I do write longer comments, it’s problematic because I know long comments, tomes, often don’t get read, but skipped over by casual readers, people open to looking at evidence… and solid reason & logic
I’d also say that casual readers tend to skip over “bickering” between commenters… although, I’d suggest those debates can be valuable because falsehoods & logical fallacies can be exposed.
I’m also in favor of wide open debate… sometimes into “wild west” food fights… sometimes which devolve into, upon reflection, poor taste, ad hominens… people tend to skip over that as well.
Given the above, when Gary Jacobs or anybody else puts out a long, dense tome… I know they are losing… so they write out a dense “fire hose” designed to overwhelm people who disagree and they don’t want to engage a refutation because it often ends up longer than the original tome.
The last comment of yours fits this profile.
Evidence the Kiev regime has a core of neo-Nazism is overwhelming. There are many sources which present the evidence of Kiev’s neo-Nazism… one does not have to “scream,” but simply present the evidence.
I get it, you have a vendetta against Russia, everybody who is a regular reader of your comments knows that because you tell them of your vendetta every chance you get.
Over a century old vendettas have no place in modern American foreign policy… period. End of story.
Gary, your so-called “mistake” is a falsehood, in that you invert reality… it’s the Ukrainians who are getting slaughtered and their equipment “burned” at a rate that is unsustainable.
Gary, you’ve been using “weather” as an excuse for poor Ukrainian military performance for three months, now. Weather can hamper military activity… but it’s turned into a “crutch” for you… you’ve worn it out.
I don’t get over my skis… I know I can’t do anything… it’s in the hands of the Russians & Ukrainians, all I can do is watch… and see what happens… that tends to minimize errors or omissions… also, certainly, “the fog of war” can make it hard to know exactly what is happening… but I do not rely on corporate mainstream media… they obviously have an agenda, as do you.
I don’t consider myself as being part of a propaganda campaign where lies & distortions are simply considered “doing my part” and, thus, are not intellectual dishonesty.
Regarding predictions… those can often go awry, but the “big one” offensive hasn’t happened, yet, and may not happen at all because Ukraine is suffering such huge loses at present that Russian strategic objectives are being met without a “big arrow” offensive, rather, Russia seems content to employ steady “meat grinder machines” because the Ukrainians are willingly feeding their soldiers into those “meat grinders.”
Although, I still think the Russians may want to do something dramatic to break the propaganda bubble in the West to where they can no longer sell the idea that Ukraine is “winning.”
Regarding Kreminna, while Ukraine did make some small advances towards it, recent reports suggest Russia has started to focus on that axis… and the Ukrainians have been pushed back.
Gary stated, “Ukraine isnt going to do that. It’s certainly not going to do it over and over.”
What do you mean… Ukraine has been feeding soldiers into Bakhmut over and over again… until reports have claimed the U. S. has advised Ukraine’s military to give up Bakhmut… but Zelensky and the neo-Nazis in Kiev reject that advice and keep feeding men into the meat grinder… over and over again.
Gary, you’re in a fantasy land… but that’s okay because it’ll be more of a shock when reality hits you in the face like a ton of bricks… and your credibility will be sunk once and for all.
And, the more realistic fellow travelers of yours will give up on your B. S. and pro-Ukrainian commenters will go silent… in frustration.
At some point the “yahoos” will realize the gigs up.
February 8, 2023 at 6:27 pm
LoL. Not sure what planet you are living on but Videos are plentiful of Russian failures in Vuhledar.
This is actually the third time Russia has tried to a large scale effort to take the same place, using the same roads, with the same stupid tactics, and the same utter disaster as a result.
It hasnt fallen. Even with the Russians using Tos-1 Thermobaric weapons to level as much of the place as they can. Vuhledar is the high ground with clear sight of approach, and the Russians are simply getting creamed.
It may be that one day the Russian scorched earth strategy levels enough of it to not leave anything left to defend, and Ukraine then withdraws.
But that day hasnt yet come, and it’s a far cry from any sort of sophisticated combined arms you are pretending Russians are capable of. They arent. even. close.
But you dont have to take my word for it, or any Ukrainian for that matter. Russians themselves have been repeatedly lamenting the utter stupidity of the tactics employed to try and take Pavlivka and neighboring Vuhledar.
At one point members of Russia’s 155th Naval Infantry took to Telegram to complain about losses in Vuhledar themselves.
Igor Strelkov hasnt been shy about his critique either. He is a former colonel in Russia’s FSB intelligence agency and a prominent Russian ultranationalist.
“Another—there have been several dozen of them in 11 months—attempt to ram the long-term defense of the armed forces of Ukraine on the Donetsk front with frontal strikes resulted only in local tactical successes with very serious losses,” That quote is from Strelkov on his Telegram channel
Plenty more where that came from.
Btw, you can project your failures onto others all you want. But I have a bit of a chuckle seeing how you have bought Russian propaganda hook line and sinker.
As I recall you are the guy who thought full service to Kerch bridge was restored in days. They still havent got major military grade supplies running yet.
And you’re the guy who didnt understand the difference between 152mm shells and 155mm shells. of course 3mm is just the width. The 300mm extra length in most NATO 155mm shells makes them far more devastating than Russian 152mm.
Have a liberating day.
February 8, 2023 at 10:39 pm
“And you’re the guy who didnt understand the difference between 152mm shells and 155mm shells. of course 3mm is just the width. The 300mm extra length in most NATO 155mm shells makes them far more devastating than Russian 152mm.”
Your usual method is to tear a small piece out of a big phrase and come up with a new meaning for the words of the interlocutor. So it is with the difference between 152 and 155. The full phrase sounded like this: “If you think that the 3mm difference in the caliber of shells gives a great advantage, then I have bad news for you. The Russians use a 203mm self-propelled gun “PEONY”, which exceeds the 155 caliber of NATO in about the same way as Mike Tyson surpasses a yard bully.” Compare this phrase with what you attribute to me. A completely different meaning. Although both phrases contain words about the 3mm difference in artillery calibers. If you can’t argue your point of view without resorting to obviously false statements, then you and all your arguments are worth less than a dime.
from Russia with love
February 9, 2023 at 1:19 pm
“Austrian general recently explained how they act: a person officially resigns from the army and goes to fight in Ukraine as a volunteer. So far so.”
right. already several thousand Poles went to fight like that and returned to Poland in bags. And those are just the ones that were taken. BUT! read my post for Jim about the goals that Russia has set for itself. if Russia’s goal is to secure its borders, then what is happening is quite logical. Ukraine’s military potential is completely depleted. without constant injections of weapons and money from abroad, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are unlikely to last at least a month. but where do these influences come from? from NATO. Now Russia is eliminating the military potential of NATO and doing it in very favorable conditions for itself. NATO stocks go to Ukraine, a country that is being shot through by Russian missiles. all these weapons pass through the hands of corrupt Ukrainian officials. the fact that only about 30% of weapons reach the front line was reported even by Western journalists. a good example of American HYMARS. they put 38 pieces. now 4-6 missiles are launched per day. it is one package of one installation. where are the other 37 launchers? you know the answer ???? the destruction of NATO military personnel who went to Ukraine as “volunteers”, this is also much better than fighting them when they are in the familiar NATO logistics structure. note also that Russia does not interfere too much with the delivery of these weapons and mercenaries to the front. Russia has all the means necessary to destroy the bridges across the Dnieper, but this is not happening.
“Judging by the pace of the war, Ukraine will have no soldiers left by the fall.”
not completely correct. Ukraine has a mobilization potential of about 2 million. Zelensky has people who can be driven into a meat grinder, but the quality of these mobilized is steadily declining. I think it would be more accurate to say that by the autumn the combat effectiveness of the mobilized troops will be much lower than now, but even now it is not particularly high. Zelensky recently signed a decree on tightening discipline at the front in connection with the increased incidence of attacks on officers. that is, Ukrainian soldiers are already shooting their commanders now, and this happens often enough for Zelensky to issue special orders on this matter.
Sofronie the monk
February 9, 2023 at 2:28 pm
The best thing we (Romanians) could do would be to send the TR-85s to Russia, not to Ukraine. That’s how good they are. To call them obsolete would be an insult to FT-17s. I guess the Ukranians could use them as road blocks, but they would get out way cheaper with some locally poured concrete. A locally produced gun that can’t hit a barn door and, if it does, it’s likely to bounce off it, armor that I guess could protect the unfortunate crew from a few stray AK-47 shots (I’m really curious how it would do against a WW2 Panzerschreck) and with a 830 CP engine “inspired” by an older German one that has the reliability of the Kusnetzov aircraft carrier. Also, it uses 100 mm ammo for its main gun that nobody else does. So yeah.
Jimmy, my boy, speaking of stuff that “BURNS!!!”, just saw a Terminator exactly doing that. Any comments? Also, how many HIMARS were “BURNED!!!” today? Did you get to 100,000 yet?
February 9, 2023 at 4:24 pm
LoL, I think it’s pretty funny that you focus on the artillery…which btw, the Russians do have some larger caliber weapons but by far what they have the most of is 152mm.
And when all else fails, as it has so often for their efforts at sophisticated combined arms… they resort to scorched earth with Tos-1 Thermobaric weapons, destroy everything, and then claim to have liberated an obliterated moonscape with no people left.
Speaking of failures, I also love how you did nothing to try and refute the use of Russian sources to prove to you how bad the Russians are losing in Vuhledar.
Now Russian Telegram channel Grey Zone chimes in to reinforce what I have been telling you:
“A f*ck-up is underway around Vuhledar, and it is happening over and over again, often in the command of the same units … [the 155th Naval Brigade of the Pacific Fleet] along with the marines from the 40th Separate Naval Infantry Brigade and the special forces of the 14th Spetsnaz Brigade…These scenes speak for themselves. At least 30 units of lost equipment, burning tankers running around, and … BMPs crushing friendly forces.”
There are plenty of videos going around. Rob Lee, Ukraine Weapons Tracker, Def Mon, and many others have them as well.
Oh wait, I would guess most western social media outlets are actually banned in Russia because actually letting in that much information might undermine Russia’s propaganda echo chamber.
But the actual military bloggers on Telegram do let that info info. Mostly because they share Russia’s imperialist fantasies and they actually want Russia to win. And they care about Russian soldiers a lot more than Putin and his clique do.
Stew on that a bit.
Have a liberating day.
February 9, 2023 at 11:23 pm
“LoL, I think it’s pretty funny that you focus on the artillery…which btw, the Russians do have some larger caliber weapons but by far what they have the most of is 152mm.”
I’m not focusing on the artillery, but on your lies. Without a lie, there is not a single post of yours. You lie the same way you breathe.
“Now Russian Telegram channel Grey Zone chimes in to reinforce what I have been telling you:”
There are several active channels that have the name “Grey zone”, but none of them is Russian. The only channel containing these words in the name, which can be called pro-Russian, has not been active since August last year. The other channels are outright Ukrainian propaganda. They disguise themselves as Russians, but their main goal is to hit the brains and sow thought there: “Russia is suffering terrible losses, its army is run by inadequate people and in general everything is bad, you have to go to bed and die.”
There are also many similar channels from the Russian side. Ukrainians are being brainwashed there.
To bring data from such channels means not to respect yourself.
There are fierce battles near Ugledar. People are dying on both sides. From the outside, some decisions may seem meaningless. Some of them are, because not all commanders are geniuses of strategy and tactics. The frontal assault failed, now Ugledar is bypassed on the flanks. Everyday life of the war. It looks terrible from an upholstered chair in the office. Get ready, try it on yourself. If the United States intervenes in this war, American soldiers will be in place of the Ukrainian ones. And they will also die en masse.
February 11, 2023 at 10:49 am
LoL, Grey Zone is aligned with Wagner Group. And it’s only one of several channels saying the same thing from the Russian end. The Russians are getting creamed at Vuhledar.
You live in a fantasy world of Putin’s propaganda echo chamber. This is the 3rd time of a major push by Russians in the area. Each time they are getting beaten badly, and each time the same group of milbloggers complains about it. But you just keep living in denial.
February 13, 2023 at 8:10 pm
“LoL, Grey Zone is aligned with Wagner Group. And it’s only one of several channels saying the same thing from the Russian end. The Russians are getting creamed at Vuhledar.
You live in a fantasy world of Putin’s propaganda echo chamber. This is the 3rd time of a major push by Russians in the area. Each time they are getting beaten badly, and each time the same group of milbloggers complains about it. But you just keep living in denial.”
On their telegram channel, the Wagner Group writes that they have only one official channel. All other channels at best reprint Wagnerian materials, and at worst they are used to pour 10% of lies between 90% of the truth, which can corrode society.
It’s funny to hear about an echo chamber from a resident of a country where broadcasting of Russian channels is prohibited, in which channels (many of which have more than a million subscribers) are completely removed from Youtube without explanation, just because their content contradicts Western propaganda.