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Ukraine, war/conflict |  Ukraine may launch an offensive this summer with new and modern NATO weapons

Ukraine, war/conflict | Ukraine may launch an offensive this summer with new and modern NATO weapons

Over the past week, an increasing number of new countries have promised Ukraine the latest weapons systems. US President Joe Biden was the first to write a column on it New York times It is time to give Ukraine modern artillery.

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As far as NTB understands, there is a desire in NATO to change the facility in Ukrainian defense from old Soviet materiel to NATO materiel. At the same time, this means more training of Ukrainians on NATO territory.

– I think it increases power significantly, and the reason for this is that Ukrainian forces are much better at getting accurate target data, that is, information about where exact targets are, says Lieutenant-Colonel and Professor Tormod Heyer at the Norwegian Defense College to NTB.

Lt. Col. Geir Hagen Carlsen, director of the Staff School, agrees, and says that modern artillery in particular would make a difference.

– It is a massive operation to change an entire defense facility from eastern equipment to western equipment. It is Europe’s largest defense after Russia, Carlsen tells NTB.

summer attack

With accurate target data, for example via the radar systems that Germany announced to provide, and American artillery with a range of 80 kilometers, Ukraine will be able to reduce the number of casualties and force the Russians to retreat.

– I think we should expect that the Ukrainians will be able to attack during the summer, says Heyer.

Western weapons systems can change the picture.

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-Maybe they don’t have to be 3v1, but 2v1 if they can rely on more modern Western military hardware, says Heier.

exhaustion war

Carlsen says it will be necessary to keep supplies going, and for them to get ammunition and spare parts.

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– This is already a war of exhaustion, and the Russians have already sent old tanks, says Carlsen.

Regardless of whether you get a lot of modern artillery, naval missiles, or air defense, there will still be a roaring need for materials in large quantities, he points out.

There is hope at NATO headquarters that Ukraine’s defense will gradually become stronger, while Russia is weakened by war and sanctions, leading to a shortage of components.

train the trainers

Western weapons materials are making increasing demands for the training of Ukrainian forces. NATO will do what it is doing in Afghanistan and train Ukrainians to become trainers. Then they can return to the front and train their fellow soldiers.

Heyer says it cannot be ruled out that the next step is for the West to actually send military advisers and trainers to Ukraine.

Depending on the type of weapon in question, experts estimate that it will take between two weeks and two months for Ukrainians to use it.

Putin shook with nuclear weapons

Many were skeptical about providing advanced weapons systems to Ukraine. The fear is that NATO and the West will be drawn into conflict. Russia reacts sharply to the provision of modern weapons.

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– This is a development about which the Russians have expressed great reluctance, says Heyer.

He notes, among other things, that it made the Russians threaten nuclear weapons.

At first, NATO and the United States were careful to stress that they would only send defensive weapons. Since then, we have seen a shift towards more offensive and modern weapons. This should mean that the United States and NATO are not afraid of Putin’s nuclear threat, he says.

– The most important factor was that it was urgent, then they had to get something they could use quickly. It’s now likely an acknowledgment in most places that this will be long-term, Carlsen says.

The nuclear threat to the West

Recently, Russia threatened that a third country could become part of the war. Haier believes it should be seen as a threat to NATO countries. However, he believes that the strength of NATO – and nuclear weapons – keeps Putin in check.

“Putin is in an iron fist because of the United States’ nuclear deterrence,” Heyer said.

He believes that it is not only the weapons used by Ukraine that need to be replaced.

The way they will wage war is more like a NATO war, in that they will get rid of the Soviet heritage, says Heyer.

He points out that decisions have to be made at a much lower level, as officers are given room to maneuver. This is in contrast to the Russian defense, which is characterized by a culture of fear and refusal to act.

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Then the Ukrainians can make quick decisions, while the Russians are waiting for an order from above.

He promised not to attack inside Russia

One of the demands put on Ukraine is not to use modern weapons to attack Russia inside Russia. There have been several reports of Ukrainian attacks in Russia.

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The artillery provided could theoretically be used for such attacks.

– It goes without saying how incredibly sensitive this is and how afraid the West, NATO and the USA are of rubber stretching too far. The question is whether we can trust the Ukrainians not to, says Heyer.

After all, he says, it may be in Ukraine’s interest to involve NATO fully in the war. But again, it is the deterrence in the power of the West and its nuclear weapons that is believed to keep the situation under control.

At the same time, no one in NATO will start World War III because of Ukraine, Heyer believes.