Major Aid is Promised for Ukraine by the West

Roan Weller, Staff Writer

A recent stalemate has washed over the Russo-Ukrainian front, with the tide of the war coming to a standstill. The recent Ukrainian counter-offensive from August of 2022 to December of 2022 was some of the biggest moves seen from Ukraine throughout the war.

In the counter-offensive, they managed to retake around 16,800 sq. miles of land back from Russia, which is a huge accomplishment considering the military strength deficit between the two countries. These big movements have been largely credited to the influx of western financial and military aid via weapon shipments, but that’s not to discredit the importance of Ukrainian troop loyalty and dedication with morale being at an all-time high after the recent counter-offensive.

Recently the USA has pledged to send Patriot missiles to Ukraine, which is a huge step forward for them. Ukraine has been outgunned in the missile sector and has had no opportunities given to them to improve that situation quite like this will vastly help them in a potential defense against a Russian spring offensive that has been speculated. This US pledge is a huge step forward for what Ukraine can potentially have in its defensive and offensive arsenal to protect itself against Russian aggression. This support  shows a new boundary crossed for foreign aid where first it was only restricted to purely financial support, then not much longer after that guns and ammunition were supplied, and now the US is sending missile systems to Ukraine which shows that the US has hope that Ukraine could win this war.

In addition to the US missiles, Germany agreed to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine and allowed all countries that have Leopard tanks to send them to Ukraine, in a decision that has polarized the country. The opposition is a very mixed coalition of anti-war activists who do not want to potentially anger Russia and spark conflict, and conservatives that think Germany is fueling a doomed war and is wasting supplies. The support is mostly from the left whose stance is that they are stopping tyranny from further entering Europe by fueling Ukraine in their defensive war.

The Leopard tanks are a perfect fit for Ukraine because of their low need for gas to provide power to the tanks. This is a great advantage to Ukraine because currently, the gas supply in Ukraine is very limited, and they do not have a lot to go around. The Leopard tanks will also be a massive upgrade to Ukraine’s Soviet-era tanks which are currently the majority of the ones in use by Ukraine. The Soviet-era tanks are non-energy efficient and are weaker than most modern Russian tanks in use. The Leopard tanks are a major leap forward and could be the key to Ukrainian success on the battlefield. 

In part to Germany’s action of pledging to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the US came alongside it, stating that it will send Abrams tanks to Ukraine. This is a move that is greatly welcomed by Ukraine but it does raise some concerns. The Abrams primarily runs on different fuel than is standard; it runs on JP-8 jet fuel whereas the Leopard runs on diesel. The Abrams can technically run on diesel but it requires a fuel filter; this could potentially cause a logistical problem on the Ukrainian frontline because there is no standardized fuel system because of the use of foreign equipment. This potential logistical issue could be blown out of proportion but it is a real issue that does need to be brought into consideration. The availability of JP-8 jet fuel is much lower than standard diesel and if the fuel filters are not brought to Ukraine in time these brand-new tanks could be rendered immobile for a couple of days or even weeks and be prone to Russian drone, or missile strikes. 

Now with all that aside the Abrams is one of the best, if not the best, main battle tanks in the world with top-of-the-line technology and armor, and this could provide a significant advantage to Ukraine in winning the war. The Russians have very limited numbers of modern tanks and have also resorted to Soviet tanks so these top-of-the-line tanks could be the winning factor for Ukraine. The Abrams provides mobility for the Ukrainians to employ a strategy of rushing Russian positions to overwhelm them and reclaim territory and is making the reclamation of Crimea feasible. 

The overwhelming support of the west with brand-new weapons could be the winning factor for Ukraine, and we see their odds of winning increasing every time the West announces new aid. If all goes according to plan, the Ukrainian counter-offensive could be more successful than the last, but with growing Ukrainian capabilities, the sheer number of Russian troops is growing as well. Now the world waits to see what the war will bring in 2023.