Germany delivers 18 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine
According to the German weekly Der Spiegel, 18 Leopard 2 battle tanks, which the German government promised to provide to Kyiv, have already been delivered to Ukraine. The last tanks from this shipment left Germany at the end of last week and were handed over to Ukrainian representatives at the border, writes Der Spiegel, citing its sources. In addition, Ukraine has already received about 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in late January, after months of discussions, announced plans to supply Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine. At the first stage, Germany will provide Kyiv with a company of 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks from the reserves of the Bundeswehr, he said in the Bundestag. In addition, this package of military assistance includes the training of Ukrainian crews, logistics, ammunition and system maintenance. The move is the result of intensive consultations held with Germany's closest European and international partners, the Chancellor stressed. Later it became known that Germany will supply Ukraine with four more Leopard 2 A6 tanks from the reserves of the Bundeswehr, increasing their total number to 18.
Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmygal appealed to Berlin on September 4, 2022 with a request to supply battle tanks. But then Scholz rejected this request. Official Berlin explained its restrained position by the fact that it had to consider the threat of escalation of Russia's war against Ukraine and the need for international coordination in the matter of military assistance to Kyiv. Chancellor Scholz has repeatedly been criticized, including by his colleagues in the ruling coalition, for indecision in providing this type of weapons to Ukraine.
In February, it also became known that the Bundeswehr began training Ukrainian to operate Leopard 2 battle tanks. It was reported that the training takes place at the tank training center in Munster (Lower Saxony) and will be completed by the end of the first quarter, “synchronously” with the delivery of tanks to Ukraine.