Germany will supply Ukraine with 14 Leopard 2 tanks and has also allowed allies to send them despite threats from Russia, while the US has confirmed it will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks and train the country’s troops. will

Germany’s move means that other countries – such as Poland and Spain – that have stockpiles of Leopard 2 tanks can now supply them to Kyiv.

President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky told Sky News he was “very happy” and “grateful” at the Cheetah 2 decision – but It warned that vehicle volumes and delivery times were “critical”..

“This is not an aggressive threat to Russia,” US President Joe Biden said at a news conference Wednesday after confirming the tank shipment to Ukraine.

He said the US and its allies “will continue to do everything we can to support Ukraine,” adding that Vladimir Putin was “wrong… we are united”.

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Biden announced that the US will send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

Mr Biden said the armored capability was “critical to Ukraine” and the US would “train Ukrainian troops as soon as possible”, adding that Germany had “really stepped up” in support of Mr Zelensky’s troops. .

A senior administration official said the U.S. had previously said it would provide the necessary training and equipment to operate and operate its M1 Abrams tanks as part of its “long-term commitment to lead the defense of Ukraine.” Is”.

“Apart from the Abrams we are also buying eight M88 recovery vehicles,” the official said.

The US military aid package is understood to be worth $400m (£323m).

This decision of the United States was made in collaboration with Germany after diplomatic talks between the two countries.

Mr. Biden this morning discussed support for Ukraine with French President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Rishi Cinque and Italian Prime Minister Giugia Meloni.

Ukraine War – Latest: Russia sends US warning over tanks

Which countries are sending tanks to Ukraine?

  • The US will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks.
  • Germany will send 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks.
  • Britain has announced that it will send 14 Challenger 2 tanks.
  • Poland has promised to send 2 tanks of 14 Leopards.

Yesterday, Moscow warned Berlin that sending tanks was “not good for future relations” – and told the US that if it allowed such a move, it would be a “severe provocation”.

The Russian embassy in Berlin condemned Germany’s decision as “extremely dangerous” and described the conflict as “escalating the conflict to a new level”.

In a statement, he said that “Battle tanks with the German Cross will be sent back to the ‘Eastern Front’, which will inevitably lead to the death of not only Russian soldiers but also the civilian population”.

He added, “It destroys what remains of mutual trust, irreparably damages the already poor state of Russian-German relations, and casts doubt on the possibility of their normalization in the near future.” “

American Abrams M-1 tank
2 German Leopard tanks
UK Challenger 2 tank

Kyiv has been pleading with the West for months to send advanced battle tanks to provide firepower and mobility to its forces, which it hopes can break through Russian defense lines and retake territory it holds. will take Russia.

“This decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the best of our ability,” German Chancellor Olaf Schulz said in a statement on Wednesday. “We are working internationally in a closely coordinated manner.”

Addressing the German parliament, he said that no ground forces or fighter planes would be sent there. Ukraine.

Although Ukraine has a stockpile of Soviet-made tanks, President Zelensky says his forces need more, faster and deadlier weapons to push back the Russians — especially Western tanks.

FILE -- A Leopard 2A6 tank moves through an area during 'Land Operations' information training exercise in Bergen, Germany, Oct. 10, 2014 Pic:AP
Image:
A Leopard 2 A6 tank during a training exercise in Bergen, Germany. File photo: AP

There was a sense of frustration among some of Germany’s allies about the delay in allowing Cheetah to go to Ukraine.

For the first time since World War II, German tanks will fight on European soil.

Sky’s Siobhan Robbins in Berlin said the German chancellor’s decision was delayed because of fears he might or might escalate the war. Germany A target

He said that this is the first time since the Second World War that German battle tanks will fight on the European battlefield.

“The chancellor had to balance the needs of Ukraine with the protection and support of the Germans.”

Recent opinion polls show that German voters are divided on the idea.

The German decision followed. Britain announced that it would supply 14 Challenger 2 tanks.which was widely seen as an attempt to convince the other Allies to send leopards, of which there are large stocks throughout Europe.

The decision of German tanks is a big deal – here’s why.


Dominic Waghorn - Diplomatic Editor

Dominic Waghorn

International Affairs Editor

@DominicWaghorn

Germany is stuck in a precarious position. On the one hand, for obvious historical reasons, he does not want to see Russia get the upper hand. On the other hand, it is to develop and supply weapons that will be crucial in Ukraine’s war against Putin.

At least that’s how German officials explain their concern over the Leopard 2 battle tank. His critics at last week’s angry tank debate said it was an excuse. Now is the time for Germany to live up to its geopolitical shoe size, which it says is the leading European country. With its economic power and position in Europe comes responsibilities and it must stop shirking them.

Nevertheless, Germany’s decision to send the Cheetahs, finally and agonizingly, is a big deal. This will probably make a decisive difference militarily. But geopolitically it sends a clear, albeit belated, message to Putin that the West is united and determined to stop his clumsy attempts at nuclear blackmail.

Germans are uneasy about military aggression because of their Nazi past. Some people worry about the idea of ​​German tanks rolling east again to kill the Russians as they did in WW2.

He is also proud of his policy of looking east, normalizing relations with Russia, and the role it played in ending the Cold War.

But critics say they are confused. Tanks are not being sent to attack but to defend. And the past year has proven Ostpolitik to be a thing of the past or at least in urgent need of revision. His chancellor, Olaf Schulz, said as much in a speech when he said that Germany had reached a Zeitenwende, or historical turning point.

Berlin says it didn’t want to see the tanks get the upper hand and has only acted now that the US has agreed to send them too. But Britain had already taken the initiative by sending challengers.

Rather than being seen as a consensus-driven team player, the past week has seen Germany drag its heels, seemingly confused and uncertain about its role in the alliance.

This is unfortunate because Germany has actually given large sums of money to help Ukraine. It has worked now but has damaged his reputation.

‘Big step towards deterring Russia’

British Prime Minister Rishi Singh called the move “the right decision by NATO allies and friends”.

“Along with the Challenger 2s, they will strengthen Ukraine’s defensive firepower. At the same time, we are intensifying our efforts to ensure that Ukraine wins this war and secures a lasting peace.” ,” They said.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who has been among critics of Germany’s reluctance, also welcomed the decision, calling it “a big step towards deterring Russia”.

Earlier this week, he said he was willing to form a “small coalition” of countries that would send tanks to Ukraine anyway.

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‘Wave of panic’ about Russia

It came as British intelligence reported that Russia’s latest tank had been delivered to the war zone despite not being fully functional.

“In recent months, deployed Russian forces have been reluctant to accept the first batch of T-14s allocated to them because the vehicles were in such poor condition,” the UK Ministry of Defense said in its latest Twitter update.

“It’s unclear exactly what aspects of the vehicle triggered this reaction, but over the past three years, Russian officials have publicly described problems with the T-14’s engine and thermal imaging system.

“Therefore, it is unlikely that any deployed T-14 tanks have met the usual criteria for the new equipment to be considered operational,” the MoD added.

According to retired Air Vice Marshal Sean Bell, Russia is “appalled” by Berlin’s decision and has put its latest tank into active service despite reported defects.

“There is a wave of panic around the way Russia is responding here,” he told Sky News.

“Almost certainly because Russia realizes how decisive the issue of tanks, Western tanks to Ukraine, can be in this conflict.”

‘global disaster’

First introduced in 1979, the Leopard 2 offers good protection against armor-piercing rounds and anti-tank guided weapons.

Berlin said it plans to rapidly train Ukrainian tank crews in Germany. The package being put together will also include logistics, ammunition and maintenance.

On Sunday, State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, said: “Supplying offensive weapons to the Kyiv government would lead to a global catastrophe.

“If Washington and NATO provide weapons that will be used to attack peaceful cities and attempt to seize our territory as they threaten, that will trigger retaliation with more powerful weapons. “




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