Already, other countries in and around Ukraine are beginning to get more involved, and that includes neighboring Poland, where a factory has been established to repair Ukrainian armor and artillery damaged in battle.
The factory, according to The Wall Street Journal, is located in an undisclosed area surrounded by run-down buildings, where there are Polish technicians working 24-7 to repair the Ukrainian equipment so that it can be shipped back to the front lines.
"Mechanics buzz around the football-field-sized workshop housing three AHS Krab guns, the air thick with the smell of metal dust and automotive grease. Two of the Krabs, which look like tanks but are self-propelled 155mm howitzer guns, are missing parts of their caterpillar tracks and are riddled with bullet holes and contorted metal," the report says.
But another Krab system is fully functional, "sparkling clean," and sitting nearby, ready to be put aboard a ferry back to Ukraine along a route where the largest transfer of arms in Europe since World War II has taken place. The report added that each weapon can take as long as two months to repair; technicians who work on the equipment have to pass multiple layers of security checks before they can gain access to the building, the location of which the WSJ has agreed not to disclose, for obvious security reasons.
Besides repairing the equipment in Poland, mechanics and technicians there are constantly in contact with their Ukrainian counterparts, most of whom were civilians before the war, instructing them via encrypted apps how to fix everything from tanks to missiles, the WSJ reported.
“That one actually arrived here in the worst condition we have seen,” engineer Miros?aw Surowaniec said as he pointed to the newly revitalized Krab, one of 10 guns that have been repaired in recent months. “The entire gun barrel was missing, the body badly damaged.”
The outlet noted further:
The maintenance and repair of munitions is a major challenge in a war that is burning through arms at the fastest pace since Nazi Germany clashed with Soviet Russia on the same territory almost 80 years ago.
The scale of the previously unreported Polish armaments operation highlights the complexity of a maintenance challenge that is about to grow far larger. On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced plans to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, joining European allies who will send as many as 100 German-made Leopard 2 tanks.
Already, Polish officials anticipate that any damaged Abrams tanks -- which are not yet built, by the way, and aren't likely to arrive in Ukraine for months -- will end up in the Western Polish city of Poznan, "making the former Soviet satellite state the leading edge of a maintenance operation that stretches to the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria," the outlet reported. In addition, Poland will provide a key, crucial role in maintaining and repairing the Leopard tanks because the country's own arms industry is extremely experienced with them.
“It is safe to assume that Poland is a leader when it comes to servicing the equipment being used by the Ukrainians in the battlefield,” Tomasz Smura, a military technologies expert with the Casimir Pulaski Foundation, an independent think tank in Poland's capital of Warsaw, told the WSJ.
The fact that a factory has been established and is being supplied, obviously, in neighboring Poland indicates that the war isn't going to be over anytime soon. But it also means that NATO is directly involved in fighting Russia, even if NATO countries don't have a single soldier deployed in Ukraine (which is hard to believe, given the special operations capabilities of the U.S. alone).
World War III is just one mistake away from starting.