The US has significantly changed the type of weapons it supplies to Ukraine, increasing the amount of offensive equipment, two senior US officials told CNN.
According to them, Washington believes that modern Bradley tanks and long-range missile systems will allow Ukraine to liberate the occupied territory before Russia regroups.
Bradley will give Kyiv a significant offensive potential. They bfast and agile, and equipped with a 25mm cannon and TOW anti-tank missiles. US Defense Department spokesman Pat Ryder previously called the Bradley a “tank killer.”
The Ukrainians could turn Bradley into an “iron fist” that would break through Russia’s defenses, said retired Army Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, former commander of the US Army in Europe and NATO Allied Ground Command. According to him, for this, the Ukrainians can place most of the received Bradleys in one battalion or one armored brigade.
Last week, the Pentagon announced the largest aid package to Ukraine since the start of the war, worth more than $3 billion, including state-of-the-art Bradley tanks.
In addition to tanks, the US will send additional HIMARS missile systems, HUMVEE armored vehicles, MRAP armored vehicles, Sea Sparrow anti-aircraft missiles and other weapons to Kyiv.
Significant changes in the supply of weapons give Ukraine more offensive capabilities compared to the first months of the war, says one US official.
Washington changed the type of weapons supplied to Kyiv after the Armed Forces of Ukraine proved that they can use modern systems properly without striking Russian territory, CNN notes.
France also announced the supply of new tanks to Ukraine. On January 4, the office of French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the country would supply Ukraine with AMX-10 RC “light” battle tanks, as well as Bastion armored personnel carriers.
In addition, the German and British governments are discussing the possibility of transferring modern tanks to Kyiv.
Supporters of the transfer of modern weapons to Ukraine say that now is the time to increase the supply. In a column for The Washington Post, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Bob Gates wrote that prolonging the war is playing into Putin’s hands. The only way to avoid this, in their opinion, is to sharply increase military supplies.