Tanks and Guns for Ukraine, A Proxy War Develops

As Ukraine faces Russia’s occupying armies, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba asked the West to supply more “guns, weaponry, and armaments.”

This is with NATO promising to provide heavier munitions and the Czech Republic being the first allied nation to ship vehicles to Kyiv.

The Public Plea

On April 7, before a conference of NATO Foreign Ministers, Kuleba made the plea for more armaments for his war-torn nation in remarks to journalists on the street in Brussels, Belgium.

“I have a pretty straightforward agenda. There are only three items on it: weapons, munitions, weapon systems,” Kuleba explained. “The more guns we obtain, and the quicker they get to Ukraine, the more lives we’ll save.”

Many western military commentators have remarked on Ukraine’s extremely strong and efficient resistance to Russian invading forces.

This is owing in part to NATO partners’ training and backing in the eight years since Russia took Crimea in 2014 and supported separatists in Donbas.

“Their accomplishments have largely been achieved through the prudent use of handheld, light equipment, such as drones, anti-tank armaments, and air defense systems,” British military scholar Lawrence Freedman wrote in an April 6 blog post.

“They have a wish list that has been addressed with western contributors in order to fill some of their shortfalls.”

“This involves maintaining a current supply of the weapons they now have, as well as providing additional armor, planes, and artillery to help them prepare for future operations,” Freedman explained.

Despite Russia’s repeated warnings that arms supplies to Ukraine are legitimate targets, it was unable to stop them.

Poland, which has a key arms supply line to Ukraine, also has a large number of T-72 vehicles. There has been much discussion in the media in recent days about whether Warsaw will transfer them to Ukraine.

Poland has been cautious of public debates about the specifics of weaponry transfers to Kyiv after plans for Warsaw to provide all the MiG-29 fighter fighters made headlines, then fell through.

The Public is Kept in the Dark

The contents of conversations over military supply will not be publicly disclosed, according to Jakub Kumoch, the director of the Foreign Relations Bureau in President Andrzej Duda’s office.

“Every discussion about assistance for Ukraine is a conversation between Poland and its closest partners, taking into account the requirements of Ukraine and the desire to stop the war as swiftly as possible,” he explained.

Kumoch was questioned about the gruesome photographs surfacing from Bucha, depicting slain Ukrainian people, some with their wrists bound and bearing indications of torture, in an appearance with Polish media on April 7.

Ukraine charged Russian forces with killing people and committing war crimes in Bucha, but the Kremlin denied the allegations, accusing Kyiv of staging a “monstrous fabrication.”