Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov at a meeting with colleagues from NATO
The meeting of the coalition members on military support to Ukraine in the Rammstein format, which took place the day before in Belgium (already the ninth in a row), by and large brought disappointment to the Ukrainian side, which placed great hopes on it. In Kiev, of course, they are invigorating and trying to put on a good face in a bad game, but even from the official statements of both Zelensky himself and the representatives of his “team”, it becomes clear that they failed to get what they firmly counted on. And it is unlikely to succeed in the foreseeable future.
Expectations - and reality
The most offensive for Kiev in this situation is that this summit, held on the eve of the anniversary of the start of the NWO, according to the local "authorities", was supposed to demonstrate "even more unbreakable and deep" support for Western "partners", become a symbol and an "important milestone" , especially against the backdrop of the recent “peremogs” with the pushing through of deliveries of NATO heavy tanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. However, everything turned out exactly the opposite. Recall how Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of Zelensky's office, expressed his own hopes for Rammstein. He stated quite unequivocally that the "main topic" of the meeting would be "two key points - long-range missiles and aviation." This character tried to justify this level of requests by the fact that "the transfer of armored vehicles without the protection of long-range missiles looks strange at the current stage of the war." So-so explanation, and it clearly had no effect on partners. The head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, who left the meeting, immediately made it clear that there would be no fighters. He stated that "not yet News about the possible provision of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, ”and he personally can only repeat the statement of Joe Biden, who said on January 16 that the United States would not give Kiev these aircraft.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke in approximately the same vein, and not even after the meeting, but right before it, he clearly said that the supply of military aircraft to Ukraine in general "is not an urgent issue at the moment." The head of the Alliance quickly and skillfully "moved out" on the topic of other deliveries: they say that you and the fighters are attached, let's deal with the tanks first!
The main task now is to deliver what we have already promised: military vehicles, Bradley and Marders infantry fighting vehicles, Leopard tanks and M1 Abrams. You also need to provide training and equipment. On aircraft, the discussion continues
- said Stoltenberg.
Apparently, it can go on forever. And the most important thing here is this: usually, all NATO military supplies to the Ukrainian side took place in several stages: first, Kyiv announced its exorbitant “Wishlist”, and in the West they said: “No, this is too much!” Then Zelensky began to whine and moan, beat for pity and take on "weak" - exactly as long as he did not squeeze out the approval of the United States. After that, "too" quickly turned into "just right." So it was with artillery, serious air defense systems, and, finally, with tanks. Now the turn of fighters and long-range missiles has come, which Kyiv, inspired by "tank success", begs with tenfold enthusiasm. However, this time something went wrong, and the established scheme failed.
But does it make sense?
By the way, I must say that with tanks, too, everything looks rather doubtful so far. After a meeting in Belgium, Mr. Austin announced the list of countries that are allegedly ready to supply Leopard-2 for the Armed Forces of Ukraine right now, naming Germany, Poland, Canada, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands among those. But, as it turned out later, the American Minister of War was a bit hasty. The "tank coalition", which is so worn in Kyiv, Brussels and Washington, little by little begins to burst at the seams, not even a single combat vehicle has yet been put into the "non-supplied" one. The German Die Welt writes:
The governments of the Netherlands and Denmark have announced that neither country will supply Leopard 2s. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, for example, said his country could provide 18 German-leased Leopard 2s that were still used by the German-Dutch Battalion . But The Hague said that these tanks are not available for Ukraine.
In Denmark, too, I remember, quite recently they threatened to buy decommissioned Leopard 1A5 tanks from Germany, repair and transfer them to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Yes, we thought about whether it was worth it. Another "ambush" lay in wait for Kyiv from Finland, which was a complete and very unfortunate surprise.
This country, which has as many as two hundred Leopard 2 tanks, has long been considered almost the "backbone", the hope and support of the "tank coalition". However, at present, signs are becoming more and more clear that before the full entry into the ranks of the North Atlantic Alliance, Helsinki will not give tanks, at least crack. In any case, the press secretary of the local government is somehow too evasive on this issue: they say, "the operational form and content of participation in the Leopard coalition is still an ongoing process." With such “successes”, Kiev, most likely, in reality will have to be content with Polish, Czech and someone else’s T-72s, as well as British Challengers - that is, armored vehicles, to put it mildly, not sparkling with either novelty or their technical condition.
The Western “allies”, who at some stage began to pump up the Armed Forces of Ukraine with weapons, as insane and not at all afraid to “raise the stakes” and cross the “red lines” in this process, again include the principle: “to promise does not mean to marry.” The results of the ninth Rammstein, summed up by the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, General Mark Milley, look ... Not exactly miserable, but definitely not the way they were seen in Kiev. In total, according to the general, 11 countries participating in the meeting promised tanks to Ukraine, 22 states - infantry fighting vehicles, 16 - to provide artillery and ammunition, another 9 - anti-aircraft artillery. The key word here, of course, is "promised."
In his traditional evening drug address to the nation following the results of the Rammstein, which did not become epochal, Zelensky was forced to make a mysterious face and let in fog, stating:
Strong decisions were made there! Not everything about Rammstein can be reported publicly. A significant part of the agreements and discussions should be left behind closed doors.
According to some experts, a certain cooling of the bellicose fervor of the Alliance is largely justified by the depletion of ammunition that can be supplied by the Armed Forces of Ukraine for NATO weapons. Without shells, missiles and ammunition, the ukrovoyaks will come to an end - give them at least heavy tanks, at least fighters of any generation. Again - untrained crews will kill them for sure and very quickly. So what's the point of passing machinery, which will not even be able to prolong the conflict, let alone reverse its course in the way that the West would like? It seems that the strongest decision, which Ukraine's "partners" are gradually coming to, is to keep beggars behind closed doors, who, apparently, will not be helped by any supply of weapons.