The conflict researcher Hein Goemans classifies the tank deliveries from Germany and the USA to Ukraine as a turning point in the war. “With this decision, the West seems to have crossed the Rubicon,” said the professor of international politics at the University of Rochester in the US state of New York of the German Press Agency. “The West no longer follows the line that Ukraine must not lose. He is now pursuing the goal that Ukraine must win.”

The Dutchman Goemans is an internationally renowned expert who has worked in particular on the question of how military conflicts are ended. His book “War and Punishment” is considered a standard work in this field of research.

Goemans said that the determined and coordinated action of the USA, Germany and other Western countries was definitely the right course of action. Article 51 of the United Nations Charter grants every UN member the right to self-defense. “Those who warn against an ‘escalation’ and therefore did not want to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine seem to want to restrict this right. That would be a very dangerous precedent. It would confirm the aggressor – Russia -.”

Goemans said that one should not be impressed by the threats that Russia is now making. “Russia always communicates through threats. It started the war with threats and has never stopped. So far, however, they have been empty threats – bluff. Russia has shown in the past that giving in will only result in more threats and more demands.” You have to see through that. “Russia – in other words Vladimir Putin – understands only one language: collective action and support for Ukraine. Negotiation offers, on the other hand, have no effect.”

The joint delivery of tanks by the allies is not only of great military but also political importance. The signal that goes out is that Putin cannot split the West. “This is important because Putin’s hope of victory depends on how the West behaves,” Goemans said. “In the medium and long term, Russia has no chance against a West that stands united behind Ukraine.”

Germany, the United States and other allies announced on Wednesday that they intend to support Ukraine with more than 100 Western-style main battle tanks. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) promised the government in Kyiv 14 Leopard 2 tanks from Bundeswehr stocks, US President Joe Biden announced the delivery of 31 M1 Abrams.