Germany is supplying Ukraine with 14 Leopard 2 tanks and has allowed allies to send theirs as well – despite threats from Russia – while the US has confirmed it will send over 31 M1 Abrams tanks to the country’s military Provide training.
Germany’s move means that other countries – such as Poland and Spain – have Leopard 2 tanks in stock and can now supply them to Kyiv.
president of ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky told Sky News he was “very happy” and “grateful” for the Leopard 2 decision – but Warns volumes and delivery times of vehicles ‘critical’.
“This is not an offensive threat against Russia,” U.S. President Joe Biden told a news conference on Wednesday after confirming that he would send tanks to Ukraine.
He said the US and its allies “will continue to do everything possible to support Ukraine”, adding that Vladimir Putin was “wrong … we are united”.
Armor capabilities are “critical to Ukraine” and the U.S. “will train Ukrainian troops as soon as possible,” Biden said, adding that Germany “really stepped up its support” for Zelensky’s forces.
The United States earlier said it would provide the necessary training and supplies needed to operate and operate its M1 Abrams tanks as part of its “long-term commitment to Ukraine’s defense leadership,” a senior administration official said.
“In addition to the Abrams, we also procured eight M88 recovery vehicles,” the official said.
The US military aid package is understood to be worth $400m (£323m).
The U.S. decision was made in coordination with Germany following a diplomatic dialogue between the two countries.
Mr Biden also spoke this morning with French President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Prime Minister Giorgio Meloni about supporting Ukraine.
Ukraine War – The Latest: Russia warns US about tanks
Which countries are sending tanks to Ukraine?
- US to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks
- Germany will send 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks
- Britain has announced it will send 14 Challenger 2 tanks
- Poland has pledged to send 14 Leopard 2 tanks
Yesterday, Moscow warned Berlin that the mission tanks “do not bode well for future relations” – and told the US it would be a “blatant provocation” if it authorized such a move.
The Russian embassy in Berlin condemned Germany’s decision as “extremely dangerous” and “escalated” the conflict to a “new level of confrontation”.
“Battle tanks bearing the German cross will again be sent to the ‘Eastern Front’, which will inevitably lead to the death of not only Russian soldiers, but also civilians,” it said in a statement.
“It destroyed remnants of mutual trust, caused irreparable damage to already regrettable Russian-German relations, and cast doubt on its likelihood of normalization in the foreseeable future,” it added.
For months, Kyiv has been begging Western countries to send modern main battle tanks to provide firepower and mobility to its troops, hoping to break through Russia’s defenses and retake Russian-occupied territory. Russia.
“This decision follows our well-known line of doing our best to support Ukraine,” German Chancellor Olaf Schulz said in a statement on Wednesday. “We acted in a closely coordinated manner internationally.”
In a speech to the German parliament, he said no ground troops or fighter jets would be sent to the Ukraine.
Despite Ukraine’s stockpile of Soviet-made tanks, President Zelensky said his forces needed more, faster and deadlier weapons — especially Western tanks — to push the Russians back.
Some of Germany’s allies have been frustrated by the delay in authorizing the Leopard to travel to Ukraine.
German tanks fight on European soil for first time since WWII
Sky’s Siobhan Robbins in Berlin says German chancellor delays decision over fears he could escalate war Germany Target.
“This is the first time a German main battle tank has fought on a European battlefield since World War II,” she said.
“The chancellor must balance Ukraine’s needs with the security and support of the Germans.”
Recent polls show German voters are divided on the idea.
Germany’s decision was made in UK announces delivery of 14 Challenger 2 tankswhich was widely seen as an attempt to persuade other allies to send Leopard missiles, whose stockpiles are much higher across Europe.
German Tank Decisions Matter – Here’s Why
Germany has been in trouble. On the one hand, it does not want to be seen as leading against Russia for clear historical reasons. On the other hand, it happens to produce and supply a weapon that could play a key role in Ukraine’s war with Putin.
At least that’s how German officials explain their predicament with the Leopard 2. During last week’s heated tank debate, their critics said it was an excuse. Now is the time for Germany to take what they call a geopolitical shoe size at the forefront of European nations. Its economic power and position in Europe brings responsibilities, and they should stop passing the buck.
Either way, Germany’s final and painful decision to send the Leopards was a big deal. This could have decisively significant implications in a military sense. But geopolitically, it sent a clear message to Putin, albeit too late, that the West remained united and determined to stop him from engaging in any clumsy nuclear blackmail.
Because of their Nazi history, Germans were uncomfortable with military aggression. Some worry that German tanks will again head east to kill Russians, as they did in WWII.
They are also proud of their Orient Policy, Looking East, normalizing relations with Russia, and their role in ending the Cold War.
But critics say they have been in turmoil. Tanks are sent to defend rather than attack. Last year has proven that Ostpolitik is a relic of the past, or at least in need of urgent reform. Their chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said the same in a speech in which he said Germany had reached the Zeitenwende, or historic turning point.
Berlin said it did not want to be seen as deploying the tanks first, and only acted after the United States agreed to send them as well. But Britain has already taken the initiative, sending a challenger.
Instead of being seen as a team player playing by consensus, Germany dragged their feet last week, clearly confused and unsure about their role in the league.
This is unfortunate because Germany has actually provided a lot of money to help Ukraine. It has now acted, but the damage to its reputation has been done.
“A big step to stop Russia”
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hailed the move as “the right decision by a NATO ally and friend”.
“Together with Challenger 2, they will strengthen Ukraine’s defensive firepower. We are working together to ensure that Ukraine wins this war and ensures lasting peace,” he said.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who was among those criticizing Germany’s reluctance, also welcomed the decision as “a big step to stop Russia from taking it”.
Earlier this week, he said he was prepared to form a “smaller coalition” of countries that would send tanks to Ukraine anyway.
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‘A glimmer of panic’ about Russia
This comes as British intelligence hints that Russia’s most modern tanks, although not yet fully operational, have been rushed to the war zone.
“Deployed Russian troops have been reluctant to accept the first T-14s assigned to them in recent months because the vehicles are in such poor condition,” the UK Ministry of Defense said in its latest Twitter update.
“It’s unclear which aspects of the vehicle triggered this response, but over the past three years Russian officials have publicly described problems with the T-14’s engine and thermal imaging system.
“It is therefore unlikely that any deployed T-14 tanks would meet the usual criteria for new equipment to be considered operational,” the MoD added.
According to retired Air Force Vice Marshal Sean Bell, Russia was “panicked” by Berlin’s decision to put its newest tank into active service despite a reported malfunction.
“There’s been a bit of a panic in the way Russia has reacted here,” he told Sky News.
“Almost certainly because Russia realizes how decisive the tank problem, the West’s tank problem to Ukraine, could be in this conflict.”
First introduced in 1979, the Leopard 2 provides excellent protection against armor-piercing projectiles and anti-tank guided weapons.
Berlin said it planned to quickly begin training Ukrainian tank crews in Germany. The combined package will also include logistics, munitions and maintenance.
On Sunday, Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament and chairman of the State Duma, said: “The supply of offensive weapons to the Kyiv regime will lead to global catastrophe.
“If the weapons provided by Washington and NATO are to be used against peaceful cities and attempt to seize our territory as they threaten, it will trigger retaliation with even more powerful weapons.”