The tank deliveries from the West to Ukraine are putting massive pressure on Russia. Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin can only counter this with sheer masses. For the West, his strategy is now becoming a race against time.

With his “go” for the delivery of German Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz triggered a chain reaction. Other NATO partners and the USA then also approved the export of battle tanks – Ukraine is to receive between 100 and 150 units in the coming weeks to reach.

That puts Putin in trouble. Russia cannot compete with the quality of Western tanks. He has only one option: pure mass.

When Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, it still had more than 1,100 active battle tanks. That is four times the capacity of the Bundeswehr. It is the second strongest tank army in Europe – after Russia.

But Putin’s troops have destroyed much Ukrainian equipment. The West reacted by supplying Soviet tanks from old stock as part of the ring exchange. However, these camps are now largely used up, from now on western tanks are rolling in. Since these are clearly superior to Russia’s Soviet tanks, Russia is in trouble.

The Russian army also had to cope with heavy tank losses. The number of 3300 at the beginning of the war has shrunk to around 2000. “I estimate that Russia still has between 10,000 and 11,000 tanks in stock, some of which are currently being repaired,” says Guards Commander Markus Reisner of the Austrian Armed Forces in an interview with the “RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland” (RND).

In order to counter the superior tanks of the West with an equal answer, Putin must now rely on mass. “The Russians know that they can’t keep up technologically, only through sheer volume,” says Reisner. “It was thought that it would take four Russian T-72s to destroy a Western Leopard.”

The Russian city of Nizhny Tagil is therefore very busy. The largest tank factory in the world is located there, tanks are built and repaired around the clock. Russia still has very large national reserves that have apparently been reactivated. “Even if it’s not the newest material, there are large quantities,” says Colonel a. D. Richter in conversation with the “RND”.

In order to gain an advantage over the West, Putin is pursuing a brutal strategy: He is trying to move as many tanks as possible to Ukraine and attack them before the Western battle tanks even get there. Reisner’s concern: “It is quite possible that the western tanks will arrive too late or in too few numbers”.

The Austrian military expert estimates that Russia will have about 2,000 more tanks in the next few months. With that, the Ukraine would soon have to come up against 4,000 Russian tanks.