According to a CNN analyst, the decision by both Washington and Berlin to send sophisticated attack tanks to Ukraine demonstrates not only the West's willingness to significantly strengthen the Ukrainian effort to retake the occupied territories but also that NATO has overcome its fear of a Russian response.
As Nick Patton Walsh explains, this decision, which was unthinkable only a few months ago, is a significant step, possibly even a watershed moment in the evolution of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
"These are offensive weapons, as opposed to air defense systems or anti-tank missiles. They, like the preceding artillery and missile systems, are designed to hit Russian troops hard in a ground attack. However, unlike these systems, Ukraine will undoubtedly retake territory. This is novel and intense, demonstrating a NATO that is not afraid "The American analyst explains.
"This latest burst of Western aid says two things," he writes in his in-depth analysis. First, these nations are not worried about violating Russian 'red lines'. It debunks the long-held belief that certain elements of NATO assistance to Ukraine could provoke a nuclear response."
"Second," he adds, "these NATO members are less concerned about an attack by Russia itself in the near future: they are delivering weapons that they themselves would urgently need in the event of such a conflict. The Danish decision to send Caesar artillery systems, as well as the Norwegian decision to send many of their own Leopard tanks, demonstrates this. These NATO members believe that the pivotal conflict with Russia will take place in Ukraine, with Ukraine as the adversary. This could imply that they believe Moscow will not win."
According to the CNN analyst, Washington's deployment of 31 tanks appears symbolic, and the practical consequences may not be felt in time for either Russia or Ukraine's spring offensive. "But the message is clear: Western aid appears to be endless, ongoing, and escalating," he emphasizes.
"NATO's aid colossus cannot be ignored by those close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and it certainly affects how long their support for Putin lasts. And it doesn't stop there."