Paasikivi: Then Ukraine can go on the offensive – with weapons from the West

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Around 130 tanks have been promised – but they have not yet reached Ukraine. The question is when they can reach the front. – A few months before they are in use is reasonable to assume, says Joakim Paasikivi, lieutenant colonel and teacher of military strategy at the Norwegian Defense Academy. A number of countries have decided to send tanks to Ukraine – including Sweden, Norway, Germany and the USA – but none of those countries’ tanks have been activated at the front. Poland sent a handful of tanks on February 24, the anniversary of the war, with a promise to send more. What is taking time? – First, the crew must be trained in the new systems, and that takes weeks or months. Then they will train in units in Ukraine. It is only when you have battalions and brigades, between 500-1,000 men, that you achieve the potential. Holding on and dabbling with individual carts is just stupid, says Joakim Paasikivi. Paasikivi: Then you have a better chance of deciding the war The fighting in eastern Ukraine has been intense for months, especially in the area around the town of Bachmut. For several weeks there have been reports that Ukraine has withdrawn from the city, but from the Ukrainian side it has been claimed that they are still fighting there. The cost in human lives amounts to several thousands. The mild weather has turned the ground into mud and heavy vehicles find it difficult to move. Joakim Paasikivi assesses that Ukraine will wait with an offensive until April-May when the ground hardens again. – Now during the mud period even tanks get stuck, he says. And he doesn’t think the expected offensive will happen in the east. – When there are complete units, Ukraine can go on the offensive in the south. There you have a significantly greater chance of deciding the war. By reclaiming land in the south, towards the coastal city of Melitopol and the Sea of ​​Azov, Ukraine can cut off the landmass Russia has between occupied areas in eastern Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula. TV4 Nyheterna has asked the Armed Forces about when the tanks from Sweden can be delivered. They refer to operational secrecy. The same question has also been asked of Defense Minister Pål Jonson (M), who has not yet answered.