NATO Rushes To Counter Expected Russian Offensive in Donbas but Faces Supply Problems
April 8, 2022 (EIRNS)—In the aftermath of the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting, the alliance is rushing to the defense of the neo-Nazi battalions in eastern Ukraine, not in such words, of course, but the clear aim is to keep the war going as long as possible, especially now that the Russian effort is focusing on the Donbas region. “The conflict,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said yesterday, has “entered a new and different phase with a more concentrated Russian offensive.” As a result, she added, following the NATO ministers meeting, there was support to “supply new and heavier equipment to Ukraine.”
Politico Europe reports, however, that supply crunch fears are looming over everything. Some countries are already warning that they are simply tapped out, and military specialists say production lines are difficult to pivot quickly. Although the war may last long, Western and Ukrainian officials are also concerned that if they do not move quickly, Russia may be able to make significant gains on the battlefield, particularly in eastern Ukraine, despite “early defeats.”(!)
“Two weeks ago, it was enough to say what will be given,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said after addressing the NATO ministers. “Today, it’s more important to know when it will be given—and this is something that allies have to sort out and to find appropriate solutions.”
At the Pentagon, spokesman John Kirby said yesterday the U.S. was scrambling to source the equipment Ukraine wants. “We’re working with allies and partners, literally every day, to see if they can provide some of these long-range air defense systems that we know the Ukrainians know how to use and are using very effectively because we don’t have them in our stocks,” he told MSNBC.
Kirby also encouraged allies to send tanks, a subject that has moved to the center of debate in Europe. This has apparently become an issue of contention in Berlin where the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz is said to be considering giving Ukraine 100 of its Marder infantry fighting vehicles. Production of the Marder ceased in 1975 and though it’s been upgraded since, it is still quite old. Equally important is that it’s a vehicle the Ukrainians would require lots of training to use, as well as logistical support. “It’s clear that Germany can do more, given its reserves—reserves and capacity,” Kuleba vented. “The issue that concerns me the most is the length of procedures and decision-making in Berlin. Because while Berlin has time, Kyiv doesn’t.”