January 24 , 2017 – Fort Russ News –
The former commander of the US Army in Europe, Lieutenant-General Ben Hodges was surprised that Ukraine is asking for lethal weapons from the US and at the same time is selling tanks of its own production.
At a briefing at the Helsinki Commission dedicated to European Security in 2018, Hodges described how he visited the Kharkov Tank Plant: “I like history and heard about the Kharkov Tank Plant. Kharkov was a very important city during the Second World War. The T-34, perhaps the most famous tank of the Second World War, was designed and manufactured there. “
“So, when I was there, I noticed a whole series of brilliant new tanks. I asked: “What is this? – “This is for export” – “Export? You ask us for Javelins yet export tanks yourself? “
Hodges was surprised.
He believes that such a situation has developed “because of insufficient coordination in the defense sphere of Ukraine.” The factory is just a fraction of what it was during Soviet times.
“They have the technical ability to produce really, very good things, but because of how their defense industry is built and because of lack of transparency, they do not buy much, they can’t afford it. I’m not an expert, but they could produce much more.” said Hodges.
He is convinced that “young Western-oriented officers” can change the situation.