It seems the UK is now “expressing frustration” at the way its MBTs are being used, complaining that the “guarantees” given by the Kiev regime forces are “simply insufficient”. Afraid of heavy losses, as demonstrated by the disastrous performance of German MBTs, long considered the best in NATO, London is looking for ways to limit their usage by the Neo-Nazi junta forces in order to prevent a similar fate for its prized MBTs.
Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst
It has been only a few weeks after the entire world saw the absolute debacle of NATO’s much-touted heavy armor. The event was accurately predicted by various independent experts and analysts mere days before the wanton counteroffensive. At that point, it became obvious that decades of close cooperation between the former Ukrainian military and NATO were effectively pointless. This also includes nearly a decade of much more intensive cooperation between the belligerent alliance and the (then newly installed) Neo-Nazi junta that focused on interoperability and the implementation of NATO standards.
However, the Kiev regime forces’ performance against even the conscripted (although battle-hardened) Donbass militias within the Russian military has not only left much to be desired, but is essentially quite poor in comparison to the massive amount of funds the Neo-Nazi junta is getting. And although the counteroffensive is still ongoing, resulting in largely insignificant gains (that are still firmly under Russian fire control), the results for heavy armor have been catastrophic, to say the least. The mainstream propaganda machine initially kept trying to conceal the horrible losses of NATO-sourced tanks and armored vehicles.
However, ample battlefield footage published by alternative platforms (particularly those on Telegram) made this an impossible task. As a result, the delivery of Western-made weapons, munitions and other equipment that was previously spearheaded by countries such as the US, UK, Poland, the Baltic states, etc. seems to be slowing down. Although London was the first to pledge heavy armor and long-range missiles, as well as banned depleted uranium munitions that can leave disastrous consequences, it is now quietly backing down from its commitments to fight Russia “to the last Ukrainian”.
Namely, the UK command is now seeking “guarantees” from the Kiev regime forces that will “ensure” no UK-supplied “Challenger 2” MBTs (main battle tanks) are destroyed or captured by the Russian military. Apart from the effectively impossible ROE (rules of engagement), London wants the Neo-Nazi junta to follow other strict requirements that also apply to their every movement even in western parts of Ukraine, which is hundreds of kilometers away from the frontline. This includes special requests for storage to prevent long-range strikes, which effectively makes the “Challenger 2” the most pampered weapon system in the conflict.
“Imagine the propaganda coup of a captured, intact Challenger 2 being paraded in Red Square in Moscow! It doesn’t bear thinking about,” British Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Crawford told the British Daily Express a few months back.
It seems the UK is now “expressing frustration” at the way its MBTs are being used, complaining that the “guarantees” given by the Kiev regime forces are “simply insufficient”. Afraid of heavy losses, as demonstrated by the disastrous performance of German MBTs, long considered the best in NATO, London is looking for ways to limit their usage by the Neo-Nazi junta forces in order to prevent a similar fate for its prized MBTs. Interestingly, Washington DC seems to be doing the exact same thing, as it has also been strangely quiet, a stark contrast to the previously boastful pledge to send its M1 “Abrams” MBTs.
Back in January, I argued that Western heavy armor, including the British “Challenger 2”, American M1 “Abrams” and German “Leopard 2” are simply not suitable for the Kiev regime, as they weren’t designed to either fight in such terrain or under such conditions (complete lack of air superiority and extremely limited or even nonexistent CAS (close air support)). The same goes for the US-made “Bradley” armored fighting vehicle (AFV) and French AMX-10 wheeled tank destroyers. Western-made tanks are infamous for their size and weight, being up to 30% bigger and heavier than their Soviet/Russian counterparts.
Weighing 75 tonnes with additional combat armor modules, “Challenger 2” is nearly twice as heavy as the Ukrainian T-64BV (38 tonnes), which is the Kiev regime’s most commonly used tank. Extensive Soviet WWII-era experience and the pedological properties of the former USSR’s western areas prompted the superpower to build lighter tanks, as heavier vehicles would nearly always get hopelessly stuck in an ocean of mud caused by the infamous rasputitsa. Video and photo evidence shows even Russian and Ukrainian tanks getting bogged down, forcing their crews to abandon the vehicles to avoid ATGMs.
And indeed, even highly mobile targets have been picked off by infantry armed with ATGMs (anti-tank guided missiles) such as the Russian 9K135 “Kornet”, making immobile heavy armor a much easier target, even for artillery that is normally used against stationary objects. Even the much lighter Soviet-era APCs (armored personnel carriers) have trouble moving through the steppe mud, making it virtually impossible to conduct off-road maneuvers for either side. In turn, this forces military units to use roads, making them easier targets for warplanes, drones, artillery, attack helicopters and the aforementioned ATGM-armed infantry, etc.
With this in mind, fielding the much heavier Western-made tanks such as the “Challenger 2” (and other NATO-sourced armor) has proven to be not only militarily useless for the Kiev regime, but also quite deadly for countless forcibly conscripted Ukrainians that have been pointlessly killed during recent counteroffensive operations against the Russian military. With that in mind, by denying or at least postponing the usage of its “Challenger 2” MBTs in Ukraine, the UK might be sparing the lives of many Ukrainians. Of course, this is being done completely inadvertently, as London is one of the most prominent proponents of the “to the last Ukrainian” approach.