MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. The shipment of a company of Leopard tanks to Ukraine from Poland will not fundamentally break the situation at the contact line, this is merely a virtual success by Kiev, says Alexander Malkevich, member of the Russian Civic Chamber and head of the Department of Journalism and Media Communication at the Kherson State University.
According to Malkevich, the promise to ship the tanks has become a "so necessary, vital ‘victory’ for Kiev now that Soledar is lost. However, he believes that this is merely a virtual victory for Ukrainian authorities.
"Yes, these are heavy armored vehicles. But, first, a company of tanks will not change the situation significantly. Second, one must first understand who will use them and where, and if they are not going to be late with all this at all," Malkevich told TASS.
Meanwhile, Adrien Bocquet, an invited expert on NATO weapons at the DPR mission to the Joint Coordination and Control Center (JCCC) on Ukrainian war crimes, not that using tanks amid the Donbass winter will require serious efforts and will be costly.
"The weight is wrong; they will have problems because of that. The engine requires special liquids for cold weather, special spark plugs in order to run. A very big number of parts must be replaced so that the tanks do not break because of cold. It will be very costly," Bocquet said.
Malkevich also pointed out that the Leopards are analogs of Soviet T-72 and T-80 tanks, but it is unclear how Ukraine will pay for them.
"What will they provide in exchange? Is it a preparation for gradual surrender of Western Ukraine, after all? There is a feeling that the next step will be the appearance of a Polish ‘peacekeeping contingent’ in Lvov ‘for protection of strategically important facilities’," he added.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said during a press conference in Lvov that Western states should hand over more tanks to Ukraine. Later, his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda announced the plan to ship a company of German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine as a part of the international support.