A former NATO commander on Sunday said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin could face problems in the war in Ukraine following recent tank donations to Kyiv from the West.
Speaking on the WABC 770 morning show “The Cats Roundtable,” ex-NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis said the tanks from Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States could play a key role in supporting Ukraine’s defenses.
“When you put these three types of tanks together and you bring them in real numbers into Ukraine, and I would estimate there will be at least 100, maybe as many as 200, by mid-spring, call it the end of March, that creates real problems for Putin,” he said.
“With these tanks, the Ukrainians can mask that armor and use it to punch through the Russian line, separate them, peel them apart, break the logistics chain,” Stavridis added.
Following weeks of pressure from Ukraine and other Western countries, the U.S. and Germany both agreed to send tanks to support Kyiv’s troops. The U.S. committed to providing Ukraine with 31 M1 Abrams tanks, enough to equip an entire tank battalion. Conversely, Germany agreed to send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv.
Britain has committed to sending Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine by the end of March. Presently, a group of Ukrainian tank crews is in the United Kingdom to begin their training on using, maintaining and repairing the Challenger 2 battle tanks.
Poland previously said it will send 60 additional battle tanks to Ukraine, on top of the 14 it has already pledged to send.
Apart from the tanks, a contingent of U.S. military officials are pushing the Pentagon to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine to support Kyiv’s air defenses and help the country protect itself from Russian missile and drone strikes, according to POLITICO, citing three people with knowledge of the matter. The sources who talked to the outlet noted that the Pentagon has yet to make a final decision.
Both Russia and Ukraine are expected to launch offensive operations in the coming weeks. Ukraine, in particular, is likely to launch counteroffensive operations in the regions of Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia, both of which were illegally annexed by Russia in sham referendums last year.