Ukraine will receive Leopard tanks from Germany and presumably other main battle tanks from other countries as well. However, before these can be used effectively, the country must survive “Putin’s last gamble”. To do this, Ukraine needs other weapons.
After much back-and-forth, Germany and the USA have decided to deliver main battle tanks to Ukraine. British military expert Nicholas Drummond believes that the Leopard 2 in particular will have a major impact on the war.
“The Leopard 2 is currently the best main battle tank in the world,” he says in an interview with “Stern”. The latest variant is much more survivable than any Russian tank. This also applies to the US tank M1 Abrams, but it has an extremely high gas consumption. No other model can match the two models in terms of mobility, protection and firepower.
Before the Leopards become valuable, however, Drummond sees a Russian offensive coming in spring 2023. “I believe Russia will launch a major spring offensive in March or April this year,” he says, explaining how Putin’s troops will be deployed. “Moscow will mainly use inexperienced troops with older T-62 and T-55 tanks.”
Ukraine must withstand the attack. “It will be Putin’s last gamble. Everything on one card. Putin will put pressure on him with everything he still has,” the military expert suspects. In such a defensive battle, however, Ukraine would need weapons other than tanks. “This means that at the moment artillery and ATGM are more important than tanks.”
Only then does Drummond see the Leopard tanks as a special trump card for Ukraine. “If Ukraine can successfully repel another Russian attack, it will be in a good position to launch its own counteroffensive,” believes the military expert.
Especially then they need numerous battle tanks and armored personnel carriers, including those of their partners. Drummond believes Russia will then be beaten. “The Leopard 2 will give Putin the rest,” he tells the “Stern”.
A defeat on the battlefield would hurt Putin personally and politically if he would be forced to withdraw, Drummond said. “He might even be overthrown. Or there could be an uprising in Russia.”
But in his view, even that would not solve the problems for Ukraine. “The problem is that whoever comes after Putin will come out of his current inner circle,” Drummond says. “These people will share the same values, the same beliefs and the same goals.”
His terrible conclusion: “Yes, Russia will want to conquer Ukraine even without Putin.” The country will use every peace agreement to regroup, rearm, retrain and then try again. “Russia will continue to pose a threat to Europe until it is a fully democratic state. We have ignored this – and so we are in danger.”