‘They could finish Putin off’ West urged to supply Ukraine with tanks

Ukraine ‘holding upper hand’ says retired general

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Ukraine could “finish off” Vladimir Putin’s invading force with Western assistance, a former military officer has claimed. President Volodymyr Zelesnky’s forces anticipate a long, harsh winter of fighting, with soldiers lined up opposite Russia in trenches on the frontlines. Most tactical experts believe the months ahead will see fighting slow down but one divergent commentator said Ukraine could gain the upper hand if Western nations imminently step up their assistance.

Writing in The Guardian, barrister and former military intelligence officer Frank Ledwidge called on NATO to provide new arms.

Mr Lewidge, who once served in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan, said that with additional firepower, Mr Zelensky’s troops could “finish off Putin and Russia”.

He said the country is currently under-equipped, lacking the “tanks, missiles and aircraft” to regain lost territory.

Western nations like the US that are “serious about helping to protect Ukraine” should urgently consider supplying them with these arms.

The country’s forces will ultimately need to “begin to transition to NATO-standard equipment” to gain the upper hand, Mr Lewidge added.

NATO appears ready to walk down the path suggested by the intelligence expert, having recently restated its commitment to the country’s armed struggle against Russia.

On November 30, leaders doubled down on their promise to eventually welcome the country into its ranks.

Foreign ministers from member countries met to discuss the situation in Bucharest, Romania, on Tuesday.

During their gathering, they accused Putin of attempting to “freeze Ukraine into submission” by targeting the country’s energy infrastructure.

The organisation added that they stood by the decision to welcome the country and Georgia into the organisation.

In a joint statement, the ministers said they “firmly stand behind our commitment”.

They also pledged to “continue and further step up political and practical support to Ukraine” for “as long as necessary”.

The statement continued: “Allies will assist Ukraine as it repairs its energy infrastructure and protects its people from missile attacks.

“We also remain resolute in supporting Ukraine’s long-term efforts on its path of postwar reconstruction and reforms.”

Individual countries have also pledged to continue supporting the country with new cash and equipment injections.

The US recently announced another $400 million package with a selection of new munitions.

The latest weapon shipment bound for Ukraine from the US includes:

  • Additional munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS)
  • 150 heavy machine guns with thermal imagery sights to counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
  • Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS)
  • 200 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds
  • 10,000 120mm mortar rounds
  • High-speed Anti-radiation missiles (HARMs)
  • 150 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs)
  • Over 100 light tactical vehicles
  • Over 20,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition
  • Over 200 generators
  • Spare parts for 105mm Howitzers and other equipment

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