UKRAINE has said they need an arsenal of new weapons to finally defeat Russia as its feared Vladimir Putin is gearing up for the next phase of his invasion.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly called for more arms to bolster his forces as they bravely stand up against Moscow.
While the West is handing over tanks, missiles and other weapons, Ukraine fears it may not be enough to completely beat Putin.
Kyiv has previously estimated that they need up to 500 tanks, 200 warplanes, 1,000 artillery pieces, 1,000 drones and 300 missile launchers.
Modern tanks have been the latest weapons earmarked with be sent – with Ukraine due to receive Challenge 2s, Leopard 2s and M1 Abrams vehicles.
The West is due to deliver 321 tanks to Ukraine.
But now the next diplomatic tug of war will be over fighter planes, with Kyiv saying they need modern jets to take on the Russians.
US President Joe Biden poured cold water on sending F-16s – but Poland could be ready to step in to supply them, according to Ukraine.
Kyiv’s wishlist includes planes such as the ultra high tech F-35s, Eurofighters, Tornados, French-made Rafales and Saab Gripens.
Ukraine has said it needs up to 200 planes to replace its aging and obsolete aircraft leftover from the collapsed Soviet Union.
“We are inferior in technology. Therefore, the need is serious,” said Ukrainian air force official Yuriy Ignat.
It has also been reported some US Air Force officials are keen to send high tech drones, such as MQ-9 Reaper, to help Ukraine.
But according to reports last December, the Pentagon remains unconvinced.
Ukraine also wants a continued supply of missiles, missile launchers, armoured vehicles, and ammunition to continue to the fight against Russia.
They say they need long ranges to potentially be able to strike inside of Russia to disrupt their supply lines.
Russia has meted out cruelty and brutality across Ukraine since they invaded – and the prospect of Putin winning is seen as catastrophic by the West.
Ukraine is however facing an uphill battle as Russia has one of the largest military forces in world.
And this is despite Putin’s repeated failures on the battlefield with poorly trained and equipped troops.
But Western leaders are having to walk a tightrope as they continue to arm Ukraine.
The Kremlin is furious about the flow of weapons into the nation and has accused nations such as the US & UK of waging a “hybrid war” on Russia.
And there is the constant threat of escalation hanging over the conflict, which is the biggest war in Europe since the end of World War 2.
But yesterday, Nato boss Jens Stoltenberg admitted the best way to ensure future peace was to continue arming Ukraine so they can defeat Russia.
“What we do know it that what happens around that table is inextricably linked to and totally dependent on the situation on the battlefield,” he said.
“So if we really want Ukraine to prevail as a sovereign, independent nation in Europe, then we need to support them now.
“Military support today makes it possible to reach a peace agreement tomorrow.”
Stoltenberg also warned however that Moscow is preparing for a new offensive – massing at least 200,000 soldiers as the war heads for its first anniversary of February 24.
Ukraine has said the date could be a symbolic moment for Putin to launch a new attack – and that it could be the largest offensive since that start of the war.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov raged: “Ukraine demands more and more weapons.
“The West is encouraging these demands, and professes its readiness to provide such weapons.
“It’s a dead-end situation: it leads to significant escalation, it leads to Nato countries more and more becoming directly involved in the conflict – but it doesn’t have the potential to change the course of events and will not do so.”
Ukraine has been warning over the winter that Putin’s forces will be gearing up for renewed attack in 2023.
It has been 11 months since Mad Vlad invaded Ukraine – sending his forces pouring over the border to march on Kyiv.
But it was not the days-long “special military operation” Putin and his men hoped it would be.
And now, according to Ukraine, more than 126,000 Russians are lying dead in the war’s muddy battlefields.
The war has seen Vlad’s forces thrown back and any hopes of a quick victory have sunk to the bottom of the Black Sea.
But despite staggering losses – the Russian army is understood to be more than one million men strong, with another two million reservists who could called up.
And Putin’s defence boss Sergei Shoigu has announced plans to swell the number of active personnel to one and a half million from 2023.
Putin’s future is now tied to his success or failure in the war – with rumours swirling around his health and his fears of a coup.
Kyiv has warned that Russia is preparing to call up another 500,000 conscripts to refresh its decimated military – in addition to 300,000 who were called up in October.
And earlier this month, Russian outlet Volya Media reported that Russia could be gearing up for a new offensive involving up to 700,000 soldiers.
It come amid flurries of speculation about what is going to happen next in the war – with Russia consistently on the back foot despite recent gains in Soledar.
It has been suggested Putin could announce a second wave of mass mobilisation to bolster his army and war games have been ongoing between Belarus and Russia.
Russian troops and forces continue to moved into the former Soviet state ruled by Europe’s last dictator Alexander Lukashenko.
And questions still remain if Putin will pressure Belarus into formally joining the war against Ukraine.
The mastermind of the new plan is reportedly General Valery Gerasimov.
Gerasimov – the head of the general staff – was given direct control of Putin’s invasion, supplanting the previous commander “General Armageddon” Sergey Surovikin.
It has been reported elsewhere that Vlad has ordered Gerasimov to make significant progress by March – including seizing control of the Donbas by March.
Volya reported that Gerasimov believes attacking the western regions could end the war by forcing a surrender by Ukraine.
It was reported that Gerasimov dreams for fighting a war on the scale of World War 2 – massing thousands of soldiers, tanks and artillery pieces to “level cities to the ground”.
The outlet closed its report by saying the carnage in Ukraine could reach a scale that has “not yet been seen since the beginning of the war” on February 24.
Russia has publicly announced plans to boost the size of its military in 2023 – going from around one million to 1.5million by 2026.
Russia continues to terrorise Ukraine – and yesterday it was revealed Mad Vlad even threatened to kill Boris Johnson in a phone call before the invasion.
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk