Whether it's Moscow's intransigence, the excesses of Russian propaganda, the Bucha massacre, or a subtle mixture of the three tinged with a diminished fear of the military potential of the Russian armies , the fact is that, for the past few days, the lines seem to have been moving in Europe, and more generally in the West, regarding the military support provided to Kyiv to deal with Russian aggression, and in particular to resist the next massive attack in the Donbass, as announced. Indeed, the Czech Republic has just announced the upcoming delivery of several dozen T-72M1 tanks and BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles Ukrainian armies, paving the way for other countries, with larger reserves and more modern equipment, to do the same.
The T-72M1 is a derivative version of the T-72A1, which equipped the Soviet armies and those of the Warsaw Pact in the early 80s. If the armored vehicle is, in many aspects, obsolete, it can however prove to be very useful to release more efficient equipment for deployment in the probable offensive zone of Donbass, or even around Mikolaiev. In addition, Russian and Ukrainian forces both use this model, since Russia has documented loss of 14 T-72A and AV, while the Ukrainians lost 3, in both cases 3% of documented tank losses. The phenomenon is even more significant for the BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle model, with 28 armored vehicles of this type lost by Russia (6% of IFV losses), and 29 for Ukraine (38% of losses documented from VCI). In other words, the tanks sent by Prague are in no way unsuited to the needs of the Ukrainian armies in the present conflict.
Beyond the operational contribution represented by the Czech initiative, the transfer of these armored vehicles also represents a profound break with the posture held by the Westerners since the start of the conflict, the latter having so far always refused to deliver heavy armaments. to Ukraine, with a few exceptions such as the transfer of several Bushmaster mine-resistant armored vehicles donated by Australia. For the Europeans and members of NATO, it was above all a question of preventing such a position from becoming a pretext for Moscow to extend the conflict, and to come to threaten certain exposed countries such as the Baltic States. or Finland. The fact that the Czech armor received approval from NATO for delivery, but also from Germany, which had a right of veto over the BMP-1s that previously belonged to the East German armies, shows a deep change in this area.
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