Ukraine Ukraine which was NATO aid was destroyed by Russia. Photo/RT
KIEV – Some of the West’s modern heavy weapons are unsuitable for the conflict in Ukraine because their design has been shaped by decades of fighting involving much weaker opponents. That’s what the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Many Western armored vehicles don’t work here because they were created not for all-out war, but for low- or medium-intensity conflicts,” Taras Chmut, a Ukrainian promoter of drone warfare, told the Wall Street Journal. “If you do a mass attack, it won’t work.”
His opinion was one of several cited by the WSJ, which argued that the prevalence of cheap drones in Ukraine has had such an impact on the fighting that NATO’s approach cannot succeed there.
The US and its allies have trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops over the years. This summer, they predicted Ukrainians would use their Western skills and weapons and break through Russian defense lines south of the front.
The kind of combined arms maneuvers that Washington advocates may no longer be possible in principle. Drones quickly detect any significant force and start a fire. And the kamikaze variant was capable of disabling much more expensive weapons systems.
Chmut, whose Come Back Alive organizers are raising funds to procure drones for Ukraine’s military, said Western countries would be better off providing cheaper and simpler systems in larger numbers.
Similar complaints from Ukraine regarding NATO’s assumptions were also published by Le Monde on Wednesday. The French newspaper interviewed frontline troops about the benefits – or lack thereof – of the training they receive from foreign supporters.
One anecdote mentioned by Le Monde stated that a German-trained recruit had to be sent home, because he only knew how to operate a column formation. Kiev stopped using these weapons after suffering heavy losses in an initial offensive against Russia in June.
“I repeatedly told them that NATO guidelines did not apply in Ukraine,” one soldier said of his training in England. “Their answer is that it is what it is, everything is predetermined.”
“Our soldiers are more experienced than those who are supposed to train them. Many of them have been fighting for ten years,” said another. “We are still far from NATO standards.”
Kiev blames a lack of Western support in connection with the summer counteroffensive for the poor results achieved so far. US officials quoted by the media argued that Kiev was wasting resources unnecessarily, refusing to concentrate forces for a decisive attack, and being too reluctant to incur casualties.