As Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a coldly-welcomed 36-hour ceasefire on Thursday, the United States and Germany followed France’s lead in announcing their intention to send light armored vehicles in Ukraine.
The United States plans to ship dozens of Bradley armored fighting vehicles, along with HUMVEES, anti-mine vehicles (MRAPs), missiles and other ammunition. Aid is close to 3 billion.
The announcement follows a phone conversation between US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who expressed their “joint determination” to continue support for Ukraine.
Germany will send Marder infantry fighting vehicles and a battery of Patriots defense missiles.
These announcements follow one made on Wednesday by French President Emmanuel Macron, who promised to send AMX-10 RC light battle tanks.
“These are not very modern systems, but they are another very significant symbol of support for Ukraine,” said Thomas Hughes, postdoctoral fellow at the Center for International and Defense Policy at Queen’s University in Kingston.
The German government was facing pressure from the opposition, but also from members of its coalition to step up its aid, which was sometimes considered “timid”.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been dragging his ears for months to hand over Leopard 2 type tanks to Ukraine, which he still refuses to do.
However, according to James Cleverly, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom, the supply of tanks to Ukraine could constitute the “next phase” of Western aid.
According to the Ukraine Support Tracker site of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany was, as of November 24, 2022, fourth in terms of financial aid, with military, humanitarian and financial support of 5.44 Billions of Euro’s. The country however arrives 17e when we classify this aid with regard to its GDP.
Qualified ceasefire of hypocrite
These announcements followed that of Russian President Vladimir Putin, establishing a 36-hour ceasefire for his troops on Thursday to allow the celebration of Orthodox Christmas, which falls on January 7 according to the Gregorian calendar.
Declared for noon this Friday, this ceasefire must end at midnight Saturday. In a statement, President Putin said he had responded to the appeal of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Cyril of Moscow. He called on Ukrainian forces to do the same.
Kyiv reacted coldly to this proposal. “Russia must leave the occupied territories, only then will there be a ‘temporary truce’. Keep your hypocrisy, ”reacted on Twitter Mykhaïlo Podoliak, adviser to the Ukrainian presidency.
In Washington, President Joe Biden felt that Vladimir Putin was making this proposal to “give himself some air” while recalling that the Russian president “was ready to bomb hospitals and daycare centers on December 25 and New Year’s Day” .
“When you look at the action of Russia for ten years, this proposition is difficult to believe,” said Thomas Hughes. I think Mr. Putin himself did not expect anything. He speaks to an internal audience first by showing himself as a good guy who proposes a ceasefire. »
Separately, Washington and Berlin’s announcement of a new supply of missiles comes as some question the significant cost mismatch between them and the Iranian-made drones the Russians are using.
In a text published Wednesday in the New York TimesArtem Starosiek, president and founder of Molfar, a Ukrainian organization describing itself as an intelligence company open-source, estimated that the price of the missiles used by the Ukrainians was up to seven times higher than that of the downed drones. In this logic, he said, Ukraine is placed in a bad position.
Ukraine’s success rate in intercepting missiles is increasing. But a missile that intercepts another missile or a drone is expensive! Neither the Ukrainians nor the West have an infinite supply of it.
Dominique Arel, holder of the Chair in Ukrainian Studies at the University of Ottawa
Can we turn to a less expensive technology? asks Dominique Arel, suggesting that the answer may lie in Israel.
“Iran is the sworn enemy of Israel, which has developed specific technology to defeat drones,” he said. This country could therefore contribute, but provided that it is strictly defensive. Because Israel does not want to get too wet. The country does not want offensive weapons to be used even inside Ukrainian territory. »
In an article published on October 12, 2022 in the New York Times, a senior Israeli official said, on condition of anonymity, that Israel shared basic intelligence on Iranian drones with Ukraine. To date, this information has not been formalized.
With the New York Timesthe washington postthe GuardianAgence France-Presse and the Associated Press
- A red line to respect
- “The member countries of the coalition in support of Ukraine do not want the Ukrainians to use the weapons they are given to attack Russia on its own territory. With the exception of Crimea which is not recognized as part of Russia. This is a red line not to be crossed. »
Dominique Arel, holder of the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Ottawa