Until now the Ukrainians got just enough not to lose and never enough to allow them to win.

The Leopard tanks and other modern western weapon systems have the potential to let the Ukrainians play smash with what’s left of the Russian army.

The Russians are desperately trying to hold on to the territory they have gained. Here and there along the front they try to capture cities. These cities usually have little strategic value, but they provide psychological boosts to the Russian war and propaganda machine.

You could say that the war in Ukraine is now a war of attrition fought mainly in trenches in the style of World War One. The Russians use a lot of artillery to try and break the Ukrainians.

To launch a succesful war winning offensive the Ukrainians need to be able to pierce the Russian lines and to coordinate their tanks and their infantry. For this they need more modern tanks than what they currently have and they also need vehicles for their infantry that keep their foot soldiers safe AND can keep up with the tanks on a modern battlefield in the rather difficult terrain of Ukraine.

The west has all that. It’s decided to deliver some of that materiel.

Is it game changing?

That depends on several factors:

– they need a lot of tanks, not just a couple

– the Ukrainian army will need time to get used to these new weapons, they will have to learn how to use them. The Ukrainians have proven to be fast learners, so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I have read social media posts by a guy I trust (he is a veteran of the wars in Yugoslavia) who is right now supporting Ukrainians soldiers on the ground and based on his statements it seems that the Ukrainians are able to move new weapons to the front very fast and very effectively

– the ammunition needs to keep flowing in, the best tank in the world is going to do little for you if it has nothing to shoot with

– these tanks need to be used properly, by properly I mean that these tanks should be concentrated in an ‘iron fist’ in an offensive role, they should not be spread out all along the line in supportive roles. The Poles made that mistake in 1939, so did the French in 1940 and the Soviets also had a hard time learning it’s better to concentrate your tanks.

– there is always the threat that Russia could resort to the use of either strategic or tactical nuclear weapons once it becomes clear the jig is up and their war effort has failed abysmally (I don’t think this is going to happen, but hey, I was one of those self-proclaimed experts who maintained Putin wasn’t going to invade until the day of the actual invasion. At least I haven’t forgotten I got it wrong. A few experts I follow seem to already have forgotten how wrong they got it)

So are these new weapon deliveries game changing?


Without them the Ukrainians can already hold off the Russians, they have been doing it for a year. With them they could flush the invaders out, maybe not out of Crimea, but out of the eastern parts.