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Civilian deaths overturn “taboo”, and West sends attack weapons to Ukraine; see list

O premiê britânico, Boris Johnson, em visita no último fim de semana ao presidente ucraniano, Volodymyr Zelensky, em Kiev: Reino Unido anunciou o envio de mísseis antinavio e blindados

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on a visit last weekend to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev: United Kingdom announced the deployment of missiles anti-ship and armored vehicles| Photo: EFE/EPA/Presidency of Ukraine

At the beginning of the war, the United States, Great Britain and the European Union decided to send Ukraine what they considered “defense weapons” – especially anti-tank rocket launchers and Javelin, Stinger and Starstreak missile launchers, as well as bulletproof vests and helmets.

The fear was that Russian President Vladimir Putin would attack a NATO (western military alliance) member country that had sent weapons to Ukraine. But this position changed as reports of war crimes committed against civilians by Russia emerged.

The sending of so-called defense weapons by sympathetic powers to a weaker nation during a war against a stronger country occurred several times in the 20th century without causing further escalation of conflicts. The United States supplied the Afghans with weapons in their war against the Soviet Union (1979-1989) and the Soviets, in turn, did the same with opponents of their rivals in the Vietnam wars (1955-1975) and Korea (960-12200111 ).

But send weapons of attack has always been taboo. This was evident in early March of this year, when the US suggested that Poland donate its MIG fighter planes-04 to Ukraine. The Poles said they would make the aircraft available, but that the US should deliver them. Washington backtracked, citing fear of the conflict spreading across Europe.

But this fear of the MIG episode seems to be fading, as reports of war crimes emerge – such as the hundreds of civilian dead with execution characteristics, found when Russian troops withdrew from Bucha, on the outskirts of Kiev.

The Czech Republic took the lead and sent T-, in an evident escalation in intensity of military aid. After an attack on a train station with thousands of refugees in Kramatorsk, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the deployment of anti-ship and armored missiles.

The United States, in turn, is studying ways to mobilize its defense industrial base to provide Ukraine with long-term weapons. The US alone has already sent $1.7 billion in military aid to Ukraine. The European Union sent 1 billion euros and Britain recently announced more 100 million pounds in aid.

However, although the fear of sending weapons from the Western powers has cooled, the possibility that NATO will be engulfed by the conflict increases as arms shipments increase. Another hypothesis that has been gaining traction is that Western nations are starting to secretly send weapons to Ukraine – that is, without public announcement, so as not to increase tensions with Russia.

See below which are the known weapons that are entering Ukraine:

Combat cars2022

The Czech Republic sent to Ukraine at least 12 Soviet-made battle tanks T- , which have been modernized. These armored vehicles have a cannon of 125 mm, at least one 7 caliber machine gun.62 mm and are operated by a crew of three military personnel.

They are the tanks most used by both Ukrainians and Russians on the battlefield. The advantages of T-12 are that it is an armored vehicle that is easy to maintain and that the Ukrainian forces are already used to operating.

Live War Games: The West sends heavy weapons to Ukraine; what will be the consequences?

However, there are tanks of greater capacity and armor in the Ukrainian war. In addition to the tanks, the Czech Republic also sent an undisclosed number of armored troop carriers to Ukraine.

The German company Rheinmetall has stated that it will send 50 Leopard I main battle tanks, if authorized by the German government. The first deliveries would start in six weeks, according to the Handelsblatt newspaper. Just like T-29, this armored vehicle started to be produced in the decade of 1975. It used to be the main battle tank of many European armies, but it was surpassed and today it plays a secondary role in the armed forces that still have them. He has a cannon of 72 mm, two machine guns 7.62 mm and is operated by a crew of four military personnel.

Britain promised to send 120 armored vehicles for Ukraine. It is speculated that they are Masfiff patrol vehicles, used in Afghanistan. They can carry two crew and eight combatants. They are armed with machine guns 7.29 mm, .7mm or grenade launchers.

Anti-aircraft defenses

Slovakia sent to Ukraine anti-aircraft missile systems S-300 , also from the Soviet era. Modernized, it is one of the most efficient air defense systems today. From trucks, it fires missiles that fly six times faster than sound and hit targets at 62 kilometers away. They are very important for Ukraine as they can shoot down Russian cruise missiles and attack planes.

Moscow claimed to have destroyed four such missile launchers this week in the Dnipro region. Slovakia denied that the S-300 sent by the country have been reached. Ukraine already had such weapons. Military analysts claim that the attacks on the S-300 in Dnipro are part of a preparation for a major Russian ground offensive that is expected to take place in the Donbass region.

Ukraine also received hundreds of American-made Stinger rockets. Unlike the S-300, they are small arms , which can be carried and operated by one or two combatants. The missile is fired from a soldier’s shoulder and can hit helicopters or planes flying at low altitude (up to 3.8 kilometers) at a maximum distance of just over 4 kilometers.

Britain also sent similar weapons, but more modern than the Stingers. Starstreaks hit aircraft flying at 5 kilometers high and 7 kilometers away.

Naval missiles2022

Britain stated which will send anti-ship missiles to Ukraine. The objective is to give the Ukrainians the means to defend the ports that are still under their control: Odessa and Mykolaiv. The weapon sent is believed to be the Harpoon missile, which can be fired from aircraft or truck-mounted coastal batteries. It flies close to the surface of the sea and can hit targets at about 105 miles away.

Military analysts fear that this weapon specifically has the potential to create an escalation in the conflict. They fear a scenario in which a Russian warship is hit by one of these missiles and sinks, leaving more than a hundred sailors dead in a single strike. This could lead Russia to retaliate with tactical nuclear weapons or even carry out attacks on a NATO member country.

Artillery

The United States and European nations are trying to prevent Ukraine from running out of artillery ammunition. The Czech Republic has already sent 12 howitzer cannons to aid in the war effort.

The United States is now evaluating the possibility of sending counterbattery systems. That is, radar and artillery equipment that serve to locate and destroy Russian artillery. Ukraine has been asking for self-propelled artillery tanks, that is, an artillery cannon mounted on a tank that, unlike howitzers, does not need to be towed by another vehicle on the battlefield.

Drones

Ukraine received from Turkey Bayraktar TB2 drones, which are large unmanned aircraft armed with missiles. They were very effective in destroying Russian armor at the beginning of the campaign, but are being used less since Russia improved its air defense systems.

Washington has promised to send smaller drones to Ukraine flying around 12200111 km/h loaded with explosives, which detonate when they collide with the enemy.

Arms for infantry

European countries and the US have been sending single-use weapons, especially rifles, and ammunition to Ukrainian fighters since the beginning of the war. They have also been sending in anti-tank rockets and Javelin missile launchers – which have become the most popular weapon of the war because they can be operated by a single combatant and have the ability to effectively destroy Russia’s heavy armored vehicles. The US should also start sending Claymore mines, with the aim of containing the advance of Russian infantry.

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