MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. It is the plans to create and train new Ukrainian tank units this spring that may pose a danger for Russia, not the shipment of German-made Leopard tanks in itself, says Andrey Kartapolov, head of the Russian State Duma Defense Committee.
Speaking on Russian TV Wednesday, the lawmaker noted that the Ukrainian armed forces will have to study the new tanks, train crews and establish a system for their maintenance and supply. According to Kartapolov, the wider the array of Western vehicles in Ukraine is, the more problems Ukrainian supply and maintenance personnel will have, because these vehicles require a different approach to maintenance.
"Nothing groundbreaking will happen [in the case of shipment of tanks]. The only thing that we should be wary of, in my opinion, is if a different decision is made. Should they decide not to ship these vehicles directly to the battlefield right away, but instead start training new units in Poland, for example, or on western Ukrainian military grounds, which will appear on the battlefield later, this spring, closer to summer - that would be serious," Kartapolov said.
On Tuesday, a number of Western media reported, citing their sources, that Germany and the US had decided to ship German-made Leopard 2 and US-made Abrams tanks to Ukraine. In addition, Berlin plans to authorize shipments of German-made tanks by third countries - Poland, in particular, stated such an intent. According to information from various media, some European states also intend to join these shipments.