- BBC News World
After weeks of denials, Germany has announced it will send 14 modern Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine for use in its war against Russia.
The U.S. is expected to make a similar announcement on Wednesday about its Abrams tanks, all of which the Ukrainian government sees as vital to countering Russian forces occupying and disputing territory.
With this in mind, the Russian ambassador in Washington said “Another blatant provocation” Y Germany’s decision was deemed to “bring no good” and to leave “An Enduring Brand” On relations between Berlin and Moscow.
Steve Rosenberg, the BBC’s correspondent in the Russian capital, said the German announcement would be used by Vladimir Putin’s government to reinforce the narrative that it is waging war against Russia on Ukrainian soil, under US leadership.
Germany has also ratified In other countries Could send their Leopard 2 to Ukraine. An estimated 2,000 of these vehicles are scattered across Europe.
Ukrainian officials have stressed the urgent need for more heavy weapons to counter a Russian invasion, and have said they could retake part of the captured territory if they had enough main battle tanks.
“It’s not 5, 10 or 15 tanks, the demand is highPresident Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Tuesday night, the lack of war supplies from the West reflects some Kyiv’s frustration.
Until now, the US and Germany have resisted internal and external pressure to send their tanks to Ukraine.
The Germans endured Political debates lasted for months Amid concerns that sending tanks could escalate the conflict and make the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) a key player in a war with Russia.
For its part, Washington argued that the Abrams equipped high-tech A lot of training and maintenance is required.
US media reported that an announcement about sending the Abrams ship to Ukraine could be made on Wednesday. The number may go up to 30.
Tanks yes, planes…
Analysis by BBC security expert Jonathan Peel
Ukraine is unlikely to get the 300 modern main battle tanks it says it needs to win the war.
But if half a dozen Western countries supply 14 tanks each, Total will be almost 100It will make a difference.
Western tanks – including the British Challenger 2, the German Panther 2 and the American Abrams – are considered superior to their Soviet-era counterparts such as the ubiquitous T-72.
They will provide Ukrainian troops with greater protection, speed and accuracy.
But modern Western main battle tanks are not a miracle weapon They don’t change the rules of the game on their own. What is offered to them is also important.
Recent weeks have seen a sea change in heavy weapons supplied by the West, including hundreds of armored vehicles, artillery systems and ammunition.
Together, they create the military hardware needed to break through Russian borders and reclaim territory.
If Ukrainian troops Training and weapons can be provided on time, can be key components of any spring attack. But one factor in the equation is still missing in offensive operations: air power.
Since the start of the war, Ukraine has been asking the West to supply it with modern fighter jets. So far, nothing has been provided.
Consequences in Europe
Within the European Union (EU), the decision rests with the German government Better reception in more militant member states Poland and the Baltic states, said the BBC’s Jessica Parker in Brussels.
In recent days, Poland has pressured Germany to send its Panthers and authorized other NATO allies that have these German-made tanks to send them.
The Polish government has announced that it is ready to send 14 Leopard 2s – out of a total of 250 – to Ukraine. Last year, Poland sent about 250 of its old Soviet-era T-72 main battle tanks to Ukraine.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki thanked President Scholz for what he described as a decision. “A Big Step to Stop Russia”.
But from the Kremlin, spokesman Dmitriy Peskov said there was an overestimation of the potential of these tanks to add to the Ukrainian army.
“These tanks burn like all the others. They are very expensive,” he added.
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