Can Israel be a game-changer in Ukraine?

Merkava MK.2

While everyone is discussing Israeli high-tech weapons and their supplies to Ukraine, I would like to draw your attention to a more straightforward thing. 

Israel obtained one of the most incredible amounts of the Soviet updated heavy weapons that could be a real game-changer in the Ukrainian battlefield. Israel captured and upgraded most of these weapons during numerous wars with its neighboring countries. Part of these vehicles are utilized already, but another is still in stock. 

According to the adviser to the president of Ukraine, Mykhailo Podoliak, Ukraine needs “150-200 tanks, 300 armored vehicles, 100 artillery systems, etc.”. The senior Ukrainian official reported this during an interview with the french TV channel France 24. 

There are a lot of soviet armored vehicles in the countries of the former Warsaw Pact (WP). However, Israeli examples are deeply updated, and their technical characteristics are much better than the original examples.


According to open-source data, Israel possesses up to a few hundred Achzarit – heavily armored personnel carriers, which are partially taken out of use in the IDF. Also, Israel can deliver up to 350 TI-67 – Israeli modifications of Soviet medium and main tanks T-54, T-55, and T-62. Mainly all of it is not brand new weapons. However, these armored vehicles and tanks are very applicable to the Ukrainian battlefield. Another critical point is that all of these might be fastly refurbished by Ukrainian military factories in comparison to all western examples of armored vehicles. 

IDF Achzarit

I want to point out that Ukrainian volunteers ran a few successful fundraising campaigns collecting enough money to buy another 60 UK-made FV103 Spartans. So no doubts that buying part of Israeli armored vehicles and modernized tanks would not be a challenging task for Ukrainian volunteers, donors, or authorities. The only question – will Israeli authorities permit its transfer to Ukraine.

About the Author
Ilya Bezruchko is CEO of the co-working network in Ukraine and a representative of the National Coalition Supporting Euroasian Jewry (NCSEJ) in Ukraine, blogger and Jewish activist.
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