As the Russian war in Ukraine rages on, the focus is increasingly on the need to supply Western tanks to Kyiv.
While thousands of armored vehicles have been destroyed on both sides, Ukraine is overwhelmingly using older Soviet-era tanks to counter Moscow’s offensive, and is gradually running out of them.
Kyiv sees the tanks as essential to breaching Russian lines and beating off an expected counter-offensive in the 11-month-old conflict. But despite the fact that tanks can play a crucial role, analysts told Euronews they will not be the game-changers one might expect.
“It’s not the magic bullet. It’s not something that will fundamentally change the course of the war,” said Johannes Andersson of the Swedish Defense Research Agency.
“And at the tactical level, too, they rely entirely on close-range support by infantry fighting vehicles.”
German Leopards 2s are in service with most European armies and continental NATO forces, making supplies readily available and tanks easy to repair.
The battle tank is a desirable addition to a battalion made up of lighter tanks such as the French AMX-10 RC and the American Bradley Infantry Support Vehicle, both of which will be delivered to Ukraine.
But Western analysts and Ukrainian army experts said that the qualities and defects of the latest Russian tanks are still unknown.
Andersen added, “There is no reason to assume that Western tanks will be much better than Russian tanks.”
“They might be good at different things. So it’s also a matter of context and how you deploy it.”
According to military experts, to make a difference on the battlefield, the Ukrainian army will need more than 500 tanks.
For more, watch the Euronews report in the video above.