w/c 23rd January 2023
Philosophically, I don’t think we can pretend any more that the Russo-Ukraine conflict is anything other than a proxy war between NATO and Russia. If the west does not do everything in its power to assist Ukraine to win and expel Russian troops from its territory then who knows where Putin’s aggression may take us next. Poland? The Baltics
The gun is a version of the Russian 125 mm gun seen on previous vehicles and can fire both armoured piercing ammunition and guided anti-tank missiles, and the two machine guns are also in remotely controlled mini turrets. With a top speed of around fifty-five miles per hour and a range of approximately 500 kilometres, it could well prove to be a formidable opponent to NATO-standard western tanks.
Ukraine suffered a body blow this week when a civilian helicopter on its way to the front line near Bakhmut crashed in the outskirts of Kyiv, apparently killing all nine on board and others on the ground. Amongst the dead were Ukranian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, his deputy, and several colleagues. Others were killed on the ground, including children from a nearby kindergarten.
The promise to send fourteen Challenger 2 tanks is, as I have written elsewhere, more political and symbolic than militarily useful. They are unlike anything other tank the Ukrainians have or are likely to have and will require yet another different logistic and supplies set up. Famously, or infamously if you prefer, the Challenger’s 120 mm rifled gun using different ammunition to the rest of NATO, to mention but one issue.
Lt Col Stuart Crawford’s latest book Tank Commander (Hardback) is available for pre-order now