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Will Western Main Battle Tanks Turn the Tide in Ukraine? What do Russian Gains in Soledar Mean?

Update on Russian military operations in Ukraine for January 13, 2022.

– Russian advances near Soledar and Bakhmut contradict “Ukrainian offensive momentum” narrative;

– Russian operations are consistent with the “demilitarization” objective for the special military operation;

– Bakhmut & Soledar are fortified cities along one of Ukraine’s last defensive lines in the Donbass region;

– West is announcing plans to send Western main battle tanks including Challenger 2 and Leopard 2 tanks;

– Challenger 2 and Leopard 2 tanks use different ammunition & both require an additional crew member (loader) increasing training demands for Ukrainian forces;

– The large variety of equipment the West is sending will create additional burdens for Ukrainian forces without any notable benefit;

– Western main battle tanks have proven to be vulnerable to (Russian-made) modern anti-tank weapons even under relatively ideal conditions;

– Ukrainian forces will be going into battle without sufficient artillery or air cover and facing off against Russian forces reinforced with an additional 300k men, new defenses, and an influx of new weaponry;

References:

The Duran on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/@TheDuran
Alex Christoforou on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/@AlexChristoforou
Alexander Mercouris on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/@AlexMercouris
Washington Post – Russia claims to control Soledar, a battlefield gain after months in retreat:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/01/11/soledar-bakhmut-russia-war-ukraine/
Congress of the US Congressional Budget Office – The US Military’s Force Structure: A Primer (explanation of the size and composition of a US armored brigade):
https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/114th-congress-2015-2016/reports/51535-fsprimer.pdf
NYT – Russia is building a vast network of trenches, traps and obstacles to slow Ukraine’s momentum. Will it work?:
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/12/14/world/europe/russian-trench-fortifications-in-ukraine.html
Guardian – UK considers supplying handful of Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/09/uk-considers-supplying-handful-of-challenger-2-tanks-to-ukraine-war-russia
Reuters – Poland plans to give Ukraine Leopard tanks as part of coalition:
https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/poland-plans-give-ukraine-leopard-tanks-part-coalition-2023-01-11/
CBS News – U.S. Tank Hit, 2 GIs Dead In Iraq (2007):
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-tank-hit-2-gis-dead-in-iraq/
Defense One – Saudi Losses in Yemen War Exposed by US Tank Deal:
https://www.defenseone.com/business/2016/08/us-tank-deal-exposes-saudi-losses-yemen-war/130623/
National Interest – Turkey’s Leopard 2 Tanks Are Getting Crushed in Syria:
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/turkeys-leopard-2-tanks-are-getting-crushed-syria-95396
New York Times – A Disciplined Hezbollah Surprises Israel With Its Training, Tactics and Weapons (2006):

Haaretz – Hezbollah Anti-tank Fire Causing Most IDF Casualties in Lebanon (2006):
https://www.haaretz.com/2006-08-06/ty-article/hezbollah-anti-tank-fire-causing-most-idf-casualties-in-lebanon/0000017f-dbc4-d856-a37f-ffc41fc50000
The Telegraph – MoD kept failure of best tank quiet (2007):
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1551418/MoD-kept-failure-of-best-tank-quiet.html
Guardian – John McCain tells Ukraine protesters: ‘We are here to support your just cause’ (2014):
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/15/john-mccain-ukraine-protests-support-just-cause
BBC – Ukraine crisis: Transcript of leaked Nuland-Pyatt call (2014):
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26079957
HRW – New Language Requirement Raises Concerns in Ukraine:
https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/01/19/new-language-requirement-raises-concerns-ukraine
Guardian – Ukraine bans Communist party for ‘promoting separatism’:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/17/ukraine-bans-communist-party-separatism
Al Jazeera – In risky move, Ukraine’s president bans pro-Russian media:
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/5/ukraines-president-bans-pro-russian-networks-risking-support
BBC – US and Nato troops begin Ukraine military exercise (2014):
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29204505

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