Germany Greenlights Transfer of 14 Leopard 2 Tanks to Ukraine
According to a German official, the goal is to rapidly form two tank units with Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine. Want to know in detail why “Germany Greenlights Transfer of 14 Leopard 2 Tanks to Ukraine”, scroll below.
On Wednesday, Berlin gave the go-ahead for the delivery of advanced Leopard tanks from Germany to aid Ukraine in repelling Russia’s invasion. The German government will supply a company with 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks from its own stocks, as stated by government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit in a statement. In addition, approval has been granted for other European countries to send tanks from their own stocks to Ukraine, with the goal of rapidly forming “two tank battalions with Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine,” Hebestreit said.
While numerous countries have pledged military equipment for Ukraine, Kyiv has been particularly requesting the more advanced Leopard tanks, which are considered crucial for breaking through enemy lines. The package approved by Chancellor Olaf Scholz also includes training for Ukrainian forces on using the tanks in Germany, as well as logistics, ammunition, and maintenance for the battle tanks.
Scholz, who has faced criticism for hesitating on whether to send the tanks, will be answering questions in the Bundestag German parliament at 1 pm (1200 GMT).
Other European countries, such as Finland and Poland, have announced their willingness to provide tanks from their own stocks. According to The Wall Street Journal, the United States is also considering sending a substantial number of Abrams M1 tanks to Ukraine.
Withdrawal from Soledar
The Kremlin issued a warning on Wednesday that if Western countries provide Ukraine with heavy tanks, they will be destroyed in battle. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated, “These tanks burn like all the rest. They are just very expensive.”
This warning came as a Moscow-backed official announced that Russian forces had advanced in Bakhmut, a town in eastern Ukraine that Russia has been attempting to capture for several months. The Ukrainian military also confirmed to AFP that its troops had withdrawn from Soledar, a town located to the northeast of Bakhmut.
Russian forces had previously announced their control of Soledar earlier in the month. Denis Pushilin, the top Moscow official in charge of Donetsk, stated that the capture of Soledar “has now made it possible to block the enemy’s supply routes and, in part, take under operational control areas” from which Ukrainian forces launched attacks on Russian positions.
During the intense fighting in eastern Ukraine, Kyiv and several of its allies have been urging Germany for weeks to permit the delivery of Leopard tanks, however, a meeting of Kyiv’s allies led by the United States in Germany last week failed to produce a decision.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki criticized the Germans on Tuesday, accusing them of “delaying, hesitating, and behaving in a way that is hard to comprehend.” However, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius stated that he had “explicitly encouraged partner countries that have Leopard tanks that are ready for deployment to train Ukrainian forces on these tanks.”
Russia’s Ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, responded to the reports of the potential tank deliveries from the United States by stating that such a move would reveal “the true aggressor in the current conflict.” According to a post on the Russian Embassy’s official Facebook page, Antonov said, If the United States decides to supply tanks, it will be impossible to justify such a step using arguments about ‘defensive weapons.
This would be another clear provocation against the “Russian Federation.”
According to Berlin’s regulations on the control of weapons of war, countries that use armaments made in Germany are required to obtain permission from Berlin if they wish to transfer them to a third party.
In another display of international support for Ukraine, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that he is contemplating a visit to Ukraine, following an invitation from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Kishida stated, “I will consider this in light of various circumstances and conditions,” given that Japan is hosting the Group of Seven meetings this year.
However, Zelensky is currently facing a growing corruption scandal at home- with allegations of food procurement fraud impacting his defense ministry. Local media reports last week alleged that the ministry had signed a deal at prices “two to three times higher” than current market rates for basic food supplies. Several officials have resigned in response to these allegations, including a deputy defense minister, two deputy ministers of development of communities and territories, and a deputy minister of social policy.
Ukraine has a long history of widespread corruption, including among the political elite, but efforts to combat it have been overshadowed by the ongoing war.
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