Even 100 Western-made tanks would not help Ukraine defeat Russian forces, the former Polish Land Forces commander believes
Western nations should “mobilize” Ukrainians who fled the conflict in their homeland, train them and send them to the frontlines, retired Polish general Waldemar Skrzypczak said on Thursday. The former commander of the Polish Land Forces expressed doubt, however, about whether there was anything at all the West could do to help Kiev win its ongoing conflict with Moscow.
NATO should start raising a Ukrainian “army” in Poland, Germany, and France, Skrzypczak told Poland’s Wpolityce news media outlet. According to Skrzypczak, the West should not even ask the Ukrainians if they want to fight or not. “You have to mobilize, conscript [them] into the army and that’s it,” he said.
At the same time, the general, who once served as an adviser to the Polish Defense Ministry and even a deputy defense minister, painted a rather grim picture of Kiev’s prospects in the ongoing conflict.
“There is no military chance for Ukraine to win this war,” he said, adding that the only way to beat Russia was to “suffocate” it politically and economically. Skrzypczak believes that even the delivery of modern, Western-made tanks would have little effect on the battlefield.
“Even 100 tanks will not change the situation, in which the Russians are building a multifold advantage over the Ukrainian army. The Ukrainians will not defeat the Russians with a hundred Leopards,” the general said.
Earlier, Warsaw and Helsinki considered sending German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine. London also promised Kiev a dozen of its Challenger 2 tanks. Berlin, which has long resisted the idea, warned that sending any German-made military equipment to Ukraine without its consent would be illegal.
Skrzypczak maintained that control over Donbass is well within Moscow’s grip, and its loss would turn Ukraine into an “agricultural country.” He also doubted that Russia planned to occupy all of Ukraine, calling such ideas unfeasible.
Western military aid only enables Ukrainians “to fight but not win,” the general said, wondering if “all Ukrainians are to die on the battlefield.”
Moscow launched a military operation in Ukraine last February, citing the need to protect the people of Donbass, as well as Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014–15 Minsk accords. Kiev has maintained that the attack was completely unprovoked.
Moscow has repeatedly warned the West that sending weapons to Kiev only prolongs the fighting and increases the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.