Western countries, including the United States, have decided to send tanks to the war in Ukraine, but an analysis has emerged that it may take several years for the tanks to be deployed to the front lines of Ukraine.
Foreign media such as the New York Times (NYT) reported on the 25th (local time), citing the words of US government officials and experts. Even if the US supports the M1 Abrams tank, it may take several years to reach the actual battlefield in Ukraine because it must avoid Russian military checks during the transportation process.
Concerns that Russia would target roads, railways and staging areas to attack supplies being transported to the front lines in eastern and southern Ukraine forced Ukraine to evade attacks, usually with concealed or camouflaged stealth convoys in the dark.
It is known that Russia has never successfully attacked a Western weapons convoy transported to Ukraine. Experts describe the process of transporting massive munitions and vehicles to the front as a game of cat and mouse that Ukraine is winning, the NYT reported.
It also explained that the risks and concerns posed by Russia were so great that the Ukrainian military had to retrieve weapons from warehouses in NATO territory instead of delivering them to the conflict zone, such as Western forces.
Nikolai Sokov, a former Russian diplomat and expert at the Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation in Vienna, mentioned the possibility of a Russian attack, saying, “The moment the armour goes to Ukraine would be the perfect moment for something big.”
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Regarding Russian attacks on arms convoys, he said, “not only will we delay future deliveries, but we will also dispose of much of our modern armor (weapons) before they reach the front lines.”
It is assumed that most of the weapons supplied by Western countries will be transported by rail or flatbed. The New York Times reported that experts judge traveling by rail as the fastest and safest way to travel, as long convoys in flatbed trucks are likely to attract Russian attention.
Experts also mentioned that moving tanks and armored vehicles to the battlefield would require a lot of time, fuel and spare parts, and that they could become a mobile target for Russian fighters.