After the conflict has already killed well over 150,000 people, give or take a couple thousand, an escalation is almost certainly coming, given two new developments: NATO's commitment to providing modern armor to the Ukrainian army, and Putin's recent pledge to boost the size of his army to 1.5 million personnel.
"Representatives of Ukraine’s chief Western backers will meet on Jan. 20 at Germany’s Ramstein Air Base, where they’re likely to reiterate support for Kyiv and pledge continued assistance. The air base serves as a command center for both the U.S. Air Force and NATO Allied Air Command," The Epoch Times reported earlier this week after Britain agreed to provide Ukraine was as many as 14 semi-modern Challenger 2 main battle tanks as well as a host of other offensive equipment that is more advanced.
If those tanks are delivered, and there is no reason at this point to expect that they won't be, they will be the first modern armor sent to Ukraine by NATO since the Russians invaded nearly a year ago.
That said, reports in May noted that the Czech Republic sent about a dozen tanks along with armored fighting vehicles and some artillery pieces to Ukraine in its fight against Russia, as some suggested the weapons transfers were part of a ‘quiet’ U.S. effort to assist Kyiv’s war effort.
The rumors also addressed the notion that, if indeed Washington and NATO countries had begun a behind-the-scenes effort to provide Ukraine with much more military assistance than previously revealed, it would be a substantial escalation and result in a legitimate third world war. We now know those reports were true.
On Tuesday it was confirmed that Ukraine has received over a dozen Soviet-designed T-72M tanks from the Czech Republic amid a big push among Western powers to bolster Ukrainian defenses amid the continued Russian war, and as the Russians are beginning to cut off much of the east and south.
The initiative by the Czech government, which is a member of NATO, is the first by an external power that has provided armor and heavy weapons support to the Ukrainians following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion. Also, the transfer of the tanks involved the U.S. government, as had been reported by Politico and a few other outlets.
According to the outlet, which cited a New York Times report, the transfer of the tanks and other equipment only came after the Biden regime signed off on it following a request from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Also, as The Wall Street Journal reported at the time, the support efforts were likely to be ramped up, making it increasingly likely that the West appears to be sleepwalking into World War III with a well-armed nuclear power.
“In a potentially even more important development, both the Czech Republic and neighboring Slovakia, which shares a border with Ukraine, are considering opening their military industrial installations to repair and refit damaged Ukrainian military equipment,” the WSJ noted.
As for the new armor and military support, The Epoch Times noted:
On Jan. 16, German Defense Secretary Christine Lambrecht tendered her resignation amid mounting pressure on her and her government to provide Kyiv with German-made Leopard tanks. The following day, top German officials said the issue would top the agenda of the country’s incoming defense minister.
“When the [new] minister of defense is declared, this is the first question to be decided concretely,” German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in an interview with a German radio host this week.