The Leopard tanks supplied by the West to Ukraine are no longer participating in the counter-offensive, but have been deployed along the front line to stop the counter-offensive.
Authorities in Kiev have been lobbying for months to obtain advanced Leopard tanks from Germany and other Western allies, which would allow the movement of Russian troops from the occupied territories of Ukraine. When the counter-offensive ended, the Leopards were deployed to hold the front line.
A deputy company of the 21st Mechanized Brigade told AFP that the Strv 122 tank – a Swedish version of the Leopard 2A5 – is currently being used by Ukrainian forces to attack enemy infantry groups or ammunition depots.
– In other words, it is not used in the same way as during the counter-offensive – says 25-year-old Ruslan, quoted by the agency, referring to the plans of Ukraine, which this summer wanted to retake at least part of the south from the Russia occupied country.
The service notes that the front line, including in Kharkiv Oblast, where Strv 122 was deployed, has not changed significantly over the past year. Kiev hoped the Leopards could break through Russian defenses and then move south toward Crimea, a peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014.
Ukraine uses Leopard tanks as long-range artillery
“Instead, they are deployed along the front and act more as long-range artillery than as offensive battle tanks that penetrate deep into Russian-occupied areas,” AFP reports.
One of the Ukrainian soldiers quoted in the material explained that leopards are very effective, but more of them are needed to carry out large-scale offensives. According to him, the Ukrainian armed forces would need as many as 150 such tanks to make progress.
– We are now on the defensive. However, we need to plan how to move forward and regain our territory, the Ukrainian military officer said.
Germany and other European countries decided earlier this year to deliver about 70 Leopard tanks to Kiev, replenishing Ukraine’s ranks of aging Soviet-era armor. During the offensive, the Ukrainian forces are said to have lost twelve such tanks.
Source: Do Rzeczy
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