The editorial commenting on the latest updates from Ukraine, by our Director, Raffaele Crocco.
11 months have passed since the beginning of the invasion, and still Kyiv is under attack, as is the whole of Ukraine. We are seeing some military developments – slight ones, observers say – perhaps in preparation of a new ground offensive by the Russian army. The real attacks, for now, continue to rain from the air. In a single day, Moscow reportedly fired at least 30 missiles at Ukraine, 15 of which were directed at Kyiv. Some of them were shot down, some of them landed, killing people, as yet it is not known how many, and hitting infrastructure as usual, especially in Odessa.
The war has long ago started to appear as endless. So long and so uncertain, it has convinced the US and Germany to supply new tanks to Ukraine. The event was hailed with great fanfare by President Zelensky, who spoke of the ‘certainty of final victory’. In reality, these news open worrying holes in the matter.
Germany has promised to supply some thirty Leopard 2 tanks. These are heavy tanks built since 1979, not particularly modern, but robust and reliable. They will be delivered, however, in at least three months. Then, there will be the training of the crews. In short: these tanks will not be available to the Ukrainian army for six months. It means imagining a very long time of war still, taking it for absolutely certain. It gets worse when we talk about the US Abrams. They are probably the most modern in the world, but Washington has admitted that they ‘will have to be built for delivery’. Again, we are talking about many months before frontline operation.
The deliveries, on the other hand, keep the door open on another concern: what will become of all these weapons once the war is over? the risk of making Ukraine a ‘medium regional power’ is real and the consequences, in terms of international relations, are likely to become heavy. Not only with Russia.
Meanwhile, the war will go on. Putin’s spokesman from the Kremlin released a statement ensuring that ‘Western weapons will be destroyed, as has already happened. It is serious, however, that Europe continues to be dragged by NATO into a war that risks widening’. Europe, understood as the European Union, sends the accusations back to sender and continues its support for Kyiv. Even financially. It is no coincidence that it has launched the first 3-billion-euro economic aid package. And the first tranche of a total funding of 18 billion euro, also intended for the reconstruction of the country. A suggestive hypothesis, this one, which however seems rather bizarre while Russian rockets continue – in the indifference of diplomacy – to destroy everything.
cover image: A German Leopard 2 tank, of the same type that will be shipped to Ukraine. By Fric.matej – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.