Why do the Ukrainians want tanks?


I notice that the various Ukrainian delegations circulating in Washington are 1. made up largeley of photogenic women and 2. Havea list of gear that they want; S-3oo AA, Stinger. jJveline, Harpoon and TANKS.

The people interviewing never ask, why tanks?

My theory is that the Ukrainians now intend to go over to the offensive in a smallish way and tanks are always useful for that. pl

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30 Responses to Why do the Ukrainians want tanks?

  1. Jovan P says:

    Colonel, may I ask a question – did the Viet Cong, at any time, deliberately or at least consciously try to kill/wound as many US soldiers as possible, in order to influence the US public opinion on the Vietnam war?

    • Pat Lang says:


      • cofer says:

        Colonel, wasn’t that a secondary objective of the TET offensive?

      • Kilo 4/11 says:

        Following on from Jovan’s question is one I’ve pondered: why didn’t the enemy in VN use suicide bombing? And sniping—we walked around totally exposed on our hilltop firebases and there was never a sniper attack in my 15 months …

      • Phillip e Cattar says:


    • cobo says:

      Wasn’t that the explicit goal of the Tet Offensive? From what I understand, the attacks throughout the theater almost depleted the NVA/VC forces, but it won the “TV” war and achieved the political objective.

  2. joe90 says:

    A simpler answer is that theirs have been destroyed. It is a strange request though. How long does it take to train a tank crew?

  3. TTG says:

    I agree they’re looking towards more offensive operations. They also need those tanks for all those mobilized reserves they’ve been training in the western part of the country. I’m sure a lot of them were former tankers.

  4. Thomas says:

    They probably don’t expect to be able to be able to maintain their own armored vehicles for long due to their industry being open to air strikes and Kharkov being a front-line city.

    • Jimmy_W says:

      The Russian/Ukrainian tanks are fairly reliable maintenance-wise. T-80 with its turbine engine is a historical outlier. Compared to Western designs, T-72/T-90 is very easy to maintain, as long as you keep the fluids filled. T-64 takes slightly more effort, but still easy compared to T-80 (which Ukraine has a few of).

      It sounds like Russia has been successful in disabling the 600+ tanks in Ukrainian storage.

  5. TTG says:

    It can’t be just to replace losses. The Ukrainians have captured more from the Russians than they have lost themselves. They’re lost around 80 and captured around 130 according to Oryx loss documentation.

    • joe90 says:

      How did they manage to capture those 50 ton tanks? Is it normal infantry training to capture tanks? For that matter if they have killed between 7-15,000 troops and 3-4x wounded, where are all of the 10,000s of Russian POW?

    • Marc says:

      Do you seriously believe this?

    • Worth Pointing Out says:

      Oryx is entirely made up of two ex-Bellingcat alumni, so it is nothing more than a cutout for British intelligence.

      Relying on them for your intel is…. unwise.

  6. Ernst wang says:

    They should be given Vaseline instead….

  7. Leith says:

    Agreed. How long can they wait before the mud dries up? Or is the Rasputitsa already over in the south?

    I expect during that offensive the Ukrainians will do better tank-infantry coordination than the Russians did. If they are worth their salt the infantry will be out in front and on the flanks – sometimes on foot – but in any case not buttoned down and hiding in BMPs & BTRs like Russian infantry.

    Lots of bridges down though. Not only earlier demolition by the Ukrainians, but just today there are reports of retreating Russians blowing bridges. Per Wikipedia the Ukrainians have a full range of mobile bridging and river crossing equipment. Soviet era, so might be getting fast track preventive maintenance as we speak.

    • JohninMK says:

      As to the weather there, here is a link to a brilliant interactive world weather map. Various options.

      Its currently showing all of Ukraine above zero C. Also Europe getting colder so will need all the gas it can get.


  8. d74 says:

    Always ask, there will be something left.

    The questions are 1- What promises will they get? 2- What material will be delivered? 3- What material will reach the fighters and when?
    Peripheral question: why pretty women?

    Tanks, not IFV. The Ukrainian army had about 1500 tanks (1500 -2000). They don’t have any more?

  9. Fourth and Long says:

    Anthony Beevor agrees. By saying that Putin’s attraction to tanks in the context of contemporary warfare in Ukraine is baffling and rife with contradiction.
    Snippet below link.


    Otto von Bismarck once said that only a fool learns from his own mistakes. “I learn from other people’s,” the 19th-century German chancellor said. Astonishingly, the Russian army is repeating the past mistakes of its Soviet predecessor. In April 1945, Marshal Georgy Zhukov, under intense pressure from Stalin, sent his tank armies into Berlin without infantry support. Vladimir Putin’s forces not only made the same error; they even copied the way their forebears had attached odd bits of iron—including bed frames—to their tanks’ turrets in the hopes that the added metal would detonate anti-tank weapons prematurely. This did not save the Russian tanks. It simply increased their profile and attracted Ukrainian tank-hunting parties, just as the Soviet tanks in Berlin had drawn groups of Hitler Youth and SS, who attacked them with Panzerfausts.

    The Russian president’s distorted obsession with history, especially with the “Great Patriotic War” against Germany, has skewed his political rhetoric with bizarre self-contradictions. It has clearly affected his military approach. Tanks were a great symbol of strength during the Second World War. That Putin can still see them that way defies belief. The vehicles have proved to be profoundly vulnerable to drones and anti-tank weapons in recent conflicts in Libya and elsewhere; Azerbaijan’s ability to destroy Armenian tanks easily was essential to its 2020 victory in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

  10. Steve says:

    I assume any tanks would need to be brought in by train, which would make them highly vulnerable to destruction from the air.

  11. Christian J. Chuba says:

    No reason not too. We are in a very generous mood these days to give them weapons. Even if they never get those tanks into battle, they would at least have something around Lviv post war.
    And how does Ukraine get these beasts to Kyiv? Lviv to Kiev is 300+ miles, I doubt there are usable rail lines, I don’t know how Tanks are typically transported but it looks tough. Also they consume a lot of fuel and Russia has been going after fuel depots.

    Fighter Jets make more sense to me. They can be in the western part of the country, strike and return while tanks need a large supply infrastructure right up to the front lines. Hiding aviation fuel for hit and run attacks sounds logical to me.

    But sure, why not, just give them whatever they ask for as long as they do not conduct operations from NATO bases. Eventually Russia might return the favor to us (Mexico) but we are in a full fledged Cold War now. There is no reason to pretend otherwise.

  12. Stevelancs says:

    They probably ask for tanks because the USA has a surplus of tanks the MIC would like to replace at the expense of the US tax payer. Isn’t that why the US abandoned all their military hardware in Afghanistan when they ran away in the night?
    The USA is run by and on behalf of people who just somehow never have enough money. Who could they be?

  13. Ghost_Ship says:

    Now fourteen days since the Daily Mail claimed that Russia was only capable of fighting for another fourteen days. Doesn’t look like there’ll be any let up in Russia operations for a while.
    That massive column of trucks between the Belarus border and the outskirts of Kiev was a deception operation intended to keep substantial elements of the Ukraine Army in the Kiev area rather than heading off towards the Donbas. Looks like it worked.
    BTW, there were nine bridges and four dams across the Dnieper between Kiev and Dnipropetrovsk. Any attempt to escape from eastern Ukraine by Ukrainian Army elements there would probably end up in a turkey shoot with the Ukrainian Army having to leave behind their heavy weapons unless US has shipped Rhino ferries and bridging equipment to Ukraine.

  14. Leith says:

    Why do the Ukrainians want a Ma Deuce from 80-year-old lend-lease stock?


    Looks good as new though. Hope they get the head space right.

  15. mcohen says:

    Could be all that armor from the ME wars are up for sale.Lol.unbelievable

    A poem i wrote for the occasion

    So there i was
    On the road to Damascus
    Riding my horse
    Counting the miles on my abacus

    When I came upon a tribesman
    Dressed in sword and mufti
    Wearing his ray ban
    Shoes a little dusty

    He pointed to my horse
    A fine steed indeed he said
    One for the course
    Come rest and break some bread

    We sat down by the banks of a river
    Under the shade of a date tree
    Ate some chicken liver
    Shared a kettle of tea

    Then he took out a book
    Covered in worn leather
    Bought in a souk
    The bookmark was a white feather

    He  began to sing out loud
    A song I once knew
    His voice the only sound
    Back in time my thoughts flew

    To my long ago childhood
    In a land far away
    When i lay in my bed
    As night claimed the day

    My mother softly singing
    A lullaby to sleep
    My eyes slowly closing
    As I sank into the deep

    I dreamt i was on the road to Damascus
    Riding on a horse
    Counting the miles on an abacus
    Reciting this verse

  16. Marc says:

    At this stage, it is becoming quite clear that Russia is winning big time. I do not understand why any informed people would deny it?

  17. Phillip e Cattar says:

    I will say this.I drove an armoured personnel carrier near the DMZ in S Korea in 1963-1964.Even one week in the field in the cold Korean winter was rough.Those young Russian soldiers driving those tanks and in those AMCs are NOT happy campers.As Napoleon said 50% of the army is morale.

  18. Old Friend says:

    If the crowd here (Vietnam Defeat Vets) would have lost, the way Russia is loosing, you would have won the Vietnam war, in stead of getting mauled in Saigon. In the meanwhile, at your age, you are entitled to jack off, while dreaming of helping the photogenic Ukrainian females and purchase the Vaseline. However, the chance of any one of you OR YOUR SONS, showing up in Donetsk is as small as you winning Vietnam. Because you know that the Vaseline will be utilized by Russian to lube you

  19. Poul says:

    Given the way the Russian have been bombing fuel depots are the Ukrainians able to keep armoured units running?

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