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NATO’s reluctance to give weapons to Ukraine hampers counteroffensive: analysts

  • NATO’s reluctance to arm Ukraine is one aspect of the stuck counter-offensive.
  • The timing prevented Ukraine from taking full advantage of Russia’s weaknesses, analysts said.
  • One analyst said it also “gave the Russians plenty of time to build up their defenses.”

The United States and its Western allies have been hesitant to deploy weapons and defense systems in Ukraine, which could hamper Kiev’s long-awaited counteroffensive, analysts told Insider.

“Because we staggered the discussions for all these different systems and didn’t implement them as part of a cohesive strategy,” he said. Jordi Barrosgeospatial intelligence team leader and Russia analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, “We also gave the Russians a lot of time to build their defenses, do their own hindsight, learn from mistakes and incorporate lessons learned.”

Earlier this month, Kiev launched a counterattack against Russian forces on the front line. And while the operation is still in its early stages, as troops achieve partial success and new positions, according to a update from The Institute for the Study of War — Russian defenses have been encountered, which are collapsing with artillery and land mines.

On Friday, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak addressed the slow start of the counteroffensive. tweeting: “The time lost in convincing our partners to provide the necessary weapons is reflected in the specific Russian fortifications built during this period, the deeply dug defense line and the minefield system.”

The US and NATO have provided Ukraine with billions of dollars in aid, including Western weapons, air defense systems, tanks, artillery and combat vehicles.

But the actual timing of those assets has not always aligned with when Kiev asked for them, and Western leaders have often been wrong about how and when to send aid, such as Reversal positions of the President of the United States, Joe Biden, on the F-16 and US Abrams tanks and Germany’s concerns to authorize Leopard tanks.

According to Barros, the debates around “a certain system for a certain number of months” before “finally agreeing that we can send them with an approach that does not take into account how these systems should be integrated to make them maximum effectiveness” ultimately. “it has prolonged the war and made the task of the Ukrainians more difficult for no reason.”

The hesitation to provide certain weapons to Ukraine may have prolonged the war

For months, Western allies have been sending billions of dollars worth of weapons systems and ammunition to Ukraine in a rush to get the supplies to Kiev in time for an early counteroffensive.

AP Photo/Libkos, file

In January, assessed the Institute for the Study of War that certain “delays in the supply to Ukraine of Western long-range fire systems, advanced air defense systems and tanks have limited Ukraine’s ability to take advantage of opportunities for larger counteroffensive operations presented by flaws and failures in Russian military operations”.

While not the only aspect hampering Ukraine’s ability to breach staunch Russian defenses, Barros said more advanced weapons systems could have been more effectively mobilized in Ukraine since the start of the war.

“I see no compelling reason why the Western coalition would not have decided to send everything we are sending to Ukraine now later that it was clear that the Ukrainians defeated the Russian attempt to decapitate their state after the battle of Kiev” , he said. Insider added that the resources could have helped Ukraine “exploit” Russian weaknesses during the summer and fall of 2022.

Part of the concern of Biden and NATO to send some assets, such as tanks and F-16s. it was Russian climbing. Since the beginning of the war, Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons on Ukraine.

But while Putin’s saber rattling may have given Biden and Western leaders pause, his threats have so far proved empty, according to Seth G. Jonessenior vice president, Harold Brown Chair, and director of the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

“At virtually every stage of this war, concerns about escalation have been proven unfounded,” Jones said, “And there really isn’t much the Russians can do at this point other than threaten.”

This is not a complete guarantee, i Putin’s deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus Earlier this month it sends a strong message to the West, but the chances of Russia using nuclear weapons against NATO members and Ukraine are still unlikely, Barros said.

“There is no world in which Putin can drop a tactical nuclear bomb and that fundamentally changes the start of the war,” Barros added.


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