T-72, a Soviet-era aircraft of the Soviet era, roars through the woods, emitting thick black smoke as it flies over frozen mud near Bakhmut (the battered Ukrainian capital).
Although the tank is an old relic from a bygone era, it is still all that the crew of the 24th mechanised Brigade need to defend themselves against Russian aggression.
Crew members explain what they are doing and how to stop the rockets and artillery blasting through the forest.
Zelenskyy states that ‘one European capital’ is holding up delivery of critical tanks – war’s latest
Roman, the company commander says that tanks were designed to support infantry and not for defense but for attacking. Therefore, to liberate our territory we need tanks.
“This tank is so stupid – a simple rocket launcher made long, long ago could pose a serious threat to it. But modern tanks are better equipped and safer from such weapons.
Military planners debated at the start of war whether the tank’s time was gone.
This is a ground battle with contact stretching hundreds of miles.
You can see the smoke from artillery strikes as well as the flashes from big guns from wherever you look.
We were moved to another location on the frontline, where old tanks – mostly donated by Eastern European countries- lurk in the trees.
While they can still be deadly when locked and loaded, they are no match for a sustained Russian attack.
Continue reading: How faster and deadlier tanks could change the tide in Ukraine
Russian offense appears imminent – Kyiv requires tanks
Ukraine conflict has become an attritional struggle
Ukraine fears Western exhaustion and an inexorable stalemate are the death knells for this country.
Although it has achieved tactical success, such as liberating Kherson and Kharkiv, without greater Western support, maintaining an operational pace and initiative will be difficult.
Russian forces are well-dug in.
The conflict has become an attritional struggle across the trenches.
As tanks broke the deadlock at the western front during the First World War’s First World War, military planners based in Kyiv hope to do so in this conflict more then a century later.
They require protection and maneuverability to move their infantry forwards, something that only modern western tanks can offer, they claim.
All indications point to Moscow being in for a long battle and planning a major offensive in spring with hundreds of thousands men.
This is more than just holding a position.
Vladimir Putin says a Russian victory seems certain, but Ukraine claims that with the right equipment, it can do much more than just hold Moscow back. It can also keep pushing forward and win this conflict.
They don’t get the slowness of some Western countries to commit.
They argue that for every day lost, there is a heavy price with Ukrainian blood.