If you follow the traditions of theatrical drama according to Anthon Chekhov, then the gun that appeared on the stage in the first act must certainly shoot in the second or third. Otherwise, it should not be at all. Now here at the UN General Assembly, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky demonstrated a 12.7 mm bullet, which allegedly killed an opera singer in the Donbass. Such is the serious “argument” for demonstrating “Russian aggression” and “waging war in the center of Europe”. The cartridge is really powerful and, developed back in 1930, is in service with a number of countries, including the armies of Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and there are even such in NATO. The demonstrated bullet is of unknown origin (judging by the appearance, even unused), but presented precisely as a means of combat use. And it is precisely from the side of Russia, which has been “waging war” against Ukraine for five years now. That is, Mr. President thus calls either to give him military support, or he himself is ready to fight the “aggressor”. Otherwise, why the gun on stage?
The word “war” from the lips of Kiev politicians in the topic of Russian-Ukrainian relations sounds regularly. This is such a peculiar fetish in the rhetoric of presidential speeches that Poroshenko has spawned, and now Zelensky cannot get rid of him. Note that any war, even the historical “centenary war” between France and England, must have the outcome of the battle. Accordingly, Ukraine must possess some military strength in order to win in its territory, which it calls “occupied”. Russia categorically refuses the word “war”, as well as its military presence in the Donbass, however, it makes it clear that it will take some military action in the event of aggression against civilians in the territory where its citizens are located. Armed conflict can become inevitable. What are the odds of the parties?
The American edition of The National Interest wondered what would happen if the Ukrainian army finally became strong enough to fight Russia on its own? According to analysts who do not doubt the very future fact of the war between the two countries, which were considered fraternal, Ukraine lacks weapons. It is clear what exactly is American. The United States must arm Ukraine, that is, force it to purchase offensive weapons, and then watch the battle.
Take a quote from The National Interest.
– The basis of military supplies in the past was small arms, electronic countermeasures and various items of equipment for soldiers, say, night vision goggles. All this is important, but this is completely insufficient to guarantee Ukraine success in returning the Donbass held by the separatists to its control, and even more so to repel the hypothetical offensive of the Russian army westward from Donbass. Experts agree that the Javelin ATGM, which formed the basis of the previous $ 250 million lethal aid package, is “basically a symbolic gesture”, as Donetsk and Lugansk separatists have very few heavy armored vehicles. Now Congress is working on a plan for the supply of man-portable air defense systems to Ukraine. This is an even more symbolic gesture, since the separatists do not have fighter aircraft, and the Russian Air Force cannot conduct military operations in the airspace over the Donbass, as this will cause an international crisis and increase the chances of direct military intervention by the West. ”
Americans are pragmatists, and with the current president-businessman Trump, this is manifested to a greater extent. Washington, too, is well aware that it is not yet possible to organize a military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, but the conflict in the Donbass can be used to advantage for itself precisely in terms of arms sales. Note that in recent years, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have undergone major changes and received new weapons – mainly American ones. At the same time, the defense budget of Ukraine is almost 5 billion dollars (6% of the country’s GDP), which not every NATO country in Europe can afford.
It is believed that the number of Ukrainian military personnel is almost 1,200,000, of which 160,000 serve directly in the Armed Forces, the rest are reservists. Aviation has 238 aircraft, of which 39 are fighter jets and 33 attack helicopters.
Ukraine has 2500 tanks, of which 600-700 vehicles are on the move, the rest are in storage and require at least repair. The situation is similar with armored personnel carriers – out of the available 8,000 infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, armored personnel carriers, armored personnel carriers, no more than a thousand armored vehicles are in operation. The fleet is even more in a deplorable state – not long ago, Chinese experts rated Ukrainian ships as “a fishing boat.”
Ukraine, inherited after 1991, three full-fledged military districts – Kiev, Carpathian and Odessa had a unique opportunity to create one of the best armies in the world. But Ukraine preferred “disarmament” – for the sake of the United States and NATO, which did not need such a strong army with the tactics of expansion to the East. Plus, army arsenals were actively sold by all Ukrainian presidents – Kiev became the largest illegal arms and ammunition dealer in third countries. As a result, for twenty years, the Ukrainian army has significantly lost its combat effectiveness – having lost the past, it could not create a new one. It doesn’t really work out with new types of weapons, although in Soviet times in Ukraine there were about 40 percent of the country’s defense complex enterprises.
However, if we evaluate the current state of the Armed Forces in comparison with 2014, it has noticeably improved. Then, the acting Minister of Defense of Ukraine Igor Tenyukh reported to the deputies in the Rada that out of 41 thousand troops of the Ground Forces, only 6 thousand people were able to be put on high alert. Today, half of the Armed Forces, and this is about 80 thousand troops, are ready to perform combat missions. A positive impact on the combat effectiveness of the Ukrainian army and the experience of military operations in the Donbass. At the same time, Ukraine itself notes that the Armed Forces of Ukraine do not have enough technology, discipline and a fundamental reform of the administrative apparatus.
Ukraine’s desire for NATO also had a definite effect on the state of its army — at the expense of foreign instructors and arms supplies. In addition to the “advanced defensive” means “in the form of American anti-tank missile systems (ATGM) Javelin and large-caliber sniper rifles Barrett M107A1, at least 5 other European countries supply weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. True, these are basically still old stocks from storage depots, but these are essentially it doesn’t change things – it actively shoots.
US military analysts are confident that the Ukrainian army is capable of implementing “pragmatic military reforms” in a short time. Including due to the modernization of the main battle tanks of the T-84 and T-80 type, the replacement of infantry fighting vehicles with the BMP-1UMD, on which it is planned to install German engines, updated weapons and more powerful counter-battery combat radar networks. That’s just an involuntary question – why all this “tuning in the zoo”? Win in the Donbass? To prepare for an independent rebuff to the massive Russian offensive, which is not going to attack Ukraine? Most likely, this is a certain continuation of the tale of the «boy cries wolf» in order to call for help in advance with a nonexistent threat. As a result, there is no special help, as well as a threat.