The situation of the war today: what are and how Western weapons arrive in Ukraine

Of Andrea Marinelli and Guido Olimpio

To keep the anti-Russian struggle alive, the United States, together with almost thirty countries, send war material with a great logistical effort: the weapons pass through Poland and Romania, in particular the anti-tank Javelins

The North Vietnamese at the time of the war against the Americans passed supplies through the mythical “Ho chi Minh path”. And the US tried to interrupt the flow with bombs, clandestine actions, raids. Today, history recurs with the Ukrainians as protagonists. To keep the anti-Russian struggle alive, the United States, together with nearly thirty countries, send war material with a great logistical effort. The advantage for the resistant is to have a crucial foothold in Rzeszow Jasionka, base in Poland, which has become the hub, the arrival point for dozens of cargo. Others may be in Romania. A rear line that worries Moscow: in fact it launched a first attack on the training center in Yavoriv, ​​near the Polish border. A first signal, expected, and it would not surprise some sabotage by Putin’s agents

The cargoes are escorted to Ukrainian territory, therefore they are divided in such a way as to reach as many units as possible but also to save them from the fighter launched from Moscow. There is a northern corridor and one further south: trucks, disguised vehicles, normal cars, trains where possible are part of the supply chain that also sees the involvement of civilians. Many who live abroad shop online or through intermediaries. Offers even come from America, thanks to the commitment of ordinary citizens. This great machine is not born suddenly: Kiev is probably implementing the Resistance Operating Concepta “frame” created with the help of the Pentagon and NATO since 2018. Three pillars:

1) Coordination of civilians, regular units, reservists.

2) Tactics that include guerilla warfare, civil disobedience, non-violent methods (seen these days).

3) Channel to encourage the support of friendly countries.

It’s this one structure that has mobilized to receive portable anti-aircraft systems but above all anti-tanks. The videos showed ambushes of small Ukrainian formations hitting tanks, slowing down a column with the Spikeof Israeli production, or the Javelin, US. To shoot the latter, the operator loads on his shoulder the tube that contains the missile with all its guidance systems – it weighs about 25 kilos, certainly bearable – and aims at the designated target: when the missile starts, it recognizes the lens or for a comparison of images among those in memory or because attracted by the heat of the lens motor. Once he gets close to the wagon, he rises 150 meters and falls vertically on the target: the armored vehicles are in fact more protected on the sides than on the upper part, therefore the trap that comes from above is more likely to disable the tank.

Precisely for this reason it is called Javelin, which means javelin. It has a range of approximately 4 kilometers and can affect any vehicle that emits heat. It is the most sophisticated weapon against armored vehicles – according to the Ukrainians it has already put out of use 335 tanks and over 1,000 armored vehicles: numbers that cannot be confirmed – but for experts it cannot be enough to stop the advance of the Russians, who try to repair the vehicles with metal “canopies”, a technique seen in Syria: it is an attempt to detonate the charge of the bomb outside. The Atlantic Alliance has sent over 17,000 of these anti-tank missiles within a week, mostly overland via Poland and Romania: however, they are quite expensive – between 80 and 200 thousand dollars each – and American producers are able to produce around 6,500 a year. But, as the experts have observed, even less sophisticated models can have an impact: in fact, several countries have shipped “pieces” of another type, from the AT4 to the Panzerfaust.

The Russians respond with heavy precision short-range ballistic missiles, which since the first day of the invasion have hit all major Ukrainian cities and military targets. They are fired from the ground with the Iskander wagons, which carry two at a time: half of those fired end up in a radius of 5/7 meters. Ukrainian cities have also been affected by Kalibr cruise missiles with a range of 1,500 / 2,000 kilometers, which are launched from the Black Sea and are used to strike with greater precision. For sieges they are used instead the BM-21, a launch system that can fire hundreds of unguided missiles and therefore less precise: they fall in a rather large area and serve to destroy the target.

Then there are the TOS-1 tracked vehicles, which launch thermobaric missiles, devastating warheads that create incendiary and explosive effects: they are made up of flammable gas and metal particleswhen they explode, the substance uses the oxygen present in the air to create a “bubble” and immediately afterwards there is a new explosion. The consequences are very high temperatures, a shock wave longer than conventional weapons and burning oxygen – they are used to hit targets in a building or in bunkers. The Russians would have used too cluster bombswhich can be used by airplanes, helicopters and artillery, designed to counter concentrations of forces: they release a shower of sub-ammunition on the target, which usually explode on impact and are very dangerous – as well as prohibited – for civilians .

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