Germany and US, Dropping Resistance, Will Send Battle Tanks to Ukraine

Author: Yuvi January 26, 2023

Germany and US, Dropping Resistance, Will Send Battle Tanks to Ukraine

With the precision of a military drill, first Germany and then the United States announced on Wednesday that each had agreed to provide battle tanks to help Ukraine beat back Russia’s invading forces.

In reaching a deal, the two countries extricated themselves from a diplomatic morass that had consumed the attention of Western officials for weeks and exposed divisions between Ukraine’s allies.

Ukrainian leaders, with an eye on the tough battles widely assumed to lie ahead in the spring, had urged Germany to send its vaunted tank, the Leopard 2. Berlin resisted.

Germany made clear it would proceed only if the United States sent its own powerful tank, the M1 Abrams. Washington resisted.

And all the while, Poland threatened to give Ukraine the Leopards from its own stock—with or without Germany’s permission.

On Wednesday, resistance seemed a thing of the past.

“These tanks are further evidence of our enduring, unflagging commitment to Ukraine and our confidence in the skill of Ukrainian forces,” President Biden declared at the White House.

Hours earlier, after Germany announced that it would send Leopards to Ukraine and allow other nations to send their own, Chancellor Olaf Scholz defended his country’s cautious approach.

“We’re talking about very effective weapons systems here, and it’s proper that we never provide those weapons systems alone, but always in close cooperation,” Mr. Scholz told lawmakers in Parliament.

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who had campaigned vigorously for the tanks, embraced the news. He called it “an important step on the path to victory.” But if Ukraine was enjoying a cavalry-is-coming moment, it was clear that it would not be arriving any time soon.

The first Leopard could take months to arrive on the battlefield, and the Abrams a year or longer. The tanks will also number far fewer than the hundreds that Ukraine says it needs to defeat the Russians.

But Germany’s decision to send tanks from its own stores paves the way for a dozen other European countries to send their own — a movement of heavy weaponry that could eventually help Ukrainian forces dent Russia’s advantage in troop numbers and equipment, military experts say.

In all, Kyiv emerged from the agreement with enough tanks for about three new Ukrainian battalions. The United States said it would send 31 Abrams tanks, and Germany said it would send an initial shipment of 14 Leopards.

The announcements were welcomed by Ukraine’s allies.

“At a critical moment in Russia’s war, these can help Ukraine to defend itself, win and prevail as an independent nation,” said Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary general.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland said that the delivery of Leopards was “a big step,” and Britain’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak, said Germany had made the “right decision.”

The news got a much frostier reception from the Kremlin.

Sergey Yuryevitch Nechayev, the Russians ambassador to Germany, said in a statement that Ukraine’s allies had made an “extremely dangerous decision” that “takes the conflict to a new level of confrontation.”

The statement also accused Berlin of abandoning its “historical responsibility to Russia” arising from Nazi aggression in World War II. That history, and the decades of relative pacifism that followed for Germany, played a significant role in its reluctance to send the tanks.

For all the talk of a unified alliance that followed the tank announcements — “Together we are stronger,” Poland’s prime minister trumpeted — in the weeks before the deal was struck, there were signs that the allies might start to go their own way.

“We will not stand idly by and watch Ukraine bleed to death,” Mr. Morawiecki said over the weekend. “Ukraine and Europe will win this war—with or without Germany.”

Legally, Germany has to authorize the transfer of the tanks it made from one country to another, but Poland’s leader insisted that whether Berlin approved or not, Warsaw would build a coalition of nations willing to donate some of Europe’s most advanced weaponry.

Word of the tank agreement came on a day when Ukrainian forces suffered a setback on the battlefield, retreating from the small town of Soledar in the east after weeks of bitter fighting. A military spokesman acknowledged that Ukraine’s withdrawal there brings Russian forces closer to encircling and perhaps capturing the strategic eastern city of Bakhmut.

The spokesman, Col. Sergei Cherevaty, said that the retreat had been ordered “to preserve our personnel.”

With winter set in, fighting in Ukraine has slowed considerably, and many of the decisions being made by Ukrainian officials and their allies are now based on the belief that as spring begins, so will a new phase in the war.

The tanks promised on Wednesday by Berlin and Washington will not be delivered in time to help Ukraine defend towns and cities near Bakhmut, where Russian forces have recently advanced in a grueling ground assault.

Indeed, it may be months before they are deployed.

Moving them into the conflict zone is far from an easy task, and Ukrainian troops still need to be trained to use the powerful Western war machines. The Abrams tank, in particular, is an exceptionally complex machine that is challenging to operate and maintain.

Gen. Robert B. Abrams, a former US Army four-star general who retired in 2021 with decades of experience — the tank is named for his father — echoed other experts’ concerns about logistics. Some Pentagon leaders say it will be difficult for Ukrainian troops to repair and maintain a fleet of the gas-guzzling tanks. And that’s after getting them there.

“The time it would take to get there — to be able to build up the supply stockage, to deliver the vehicles, to train the crews, to train the mechanics, to gather everything you’d need — how long would that take?” General Abrams said in an interview. “I don’t know, but it ain’t like 30 days, I can tell you that.”

On Wednesday, when a reporter asked if Germany had forced him to change his mind on the tank, Mr. Biden said: “Germany didn’t force me to change my mind. I wanted to make sure we are all together.

He also dismissed Moscow’s contention that sending the tanks was an escalation.

“There is no offensive threat to Russia,” Mr. Biden said. “If Russian troops return to Russia, where they belong, this war would be over today.”

Reporting was contributed by Christopher F. Schuetze, Matthew Mpoke Bigg, Michael Schwirtz, Lara Jakes and Thomas Gibbons-Neff.

Author: Yuvi

My name is Yuvi, I work as Sub Editor at

26 January, 2023, 5:30 am

News Cinema on twitter News Cinema on facebook

Thursday, 26th January 2023

Latest Web Stories

More Stories
Hunter Biden accused of ‘intimidation’ after $75k defamation suit from Delaware laptop repairman
The north braces for ‘once in a generation’ wind chill as cold front from Canada blows in
MDMA and magic mushrooms approved for treatments
Miami mocked for unveiling African-themed police cruiser to celebrate Black History Month
Landlord found by tenant to be posing as handyman and entering home without notice
Bad posts, tough jobs and hostel shenanigans – Times Anubhav Singh Bhasi made us cry, laugh
Senate Judiciary Committee puts Ticketmaster on notice ahead of Beyoncé tour
Tesla electric car outsells Australia’s most popular SUVs
New York Blocks Payments to 20 Firms That Serve Hasidic Schools
The last dramatic episode of FC Barcelona is called Gavi
Three University of Idaho students claim they saw murders union suspect Bryan Kohberger at student
Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon DENIED entry to Marc Jacobs show after arriving after doors closed
Pamela Anderson defends unlikely friendship with Julian Assange and defends him as a ‘truth seeker’
How the multi-million dollar crime empire of feared Melbourne kingpin George Marrogi was smashed
ABC cops formal complaint over ‘white supremacy’ report on Alice Springs crime wave crisis meeting
Olivia Wilde looks somber while out in West Hollywood amid child support battle with Jason Sudeikis
Don Lemon ‘SCREAMED’ at CNN This Morning co-host after he accused her of ‘interrupting’ him
Man Paid $20,000 in Bitcoin in Failed Attempt to Have 14-Year-Old Killed, US Says
‘I asked her why…’: Aruna Irani shares Rekha’s ouster from ‘Mangalsutra’
Gauri Khan Faces Oops After Her Jacket Gets Stuck On A Pole Outside Designer Store – WATCH
She Took On Atlanta’s Gangs. Now she may be coming for Trump.
PIC: Boy, 5, who was brutally attacked by a mountain lion before his mom wrestled the animal off him
Siddharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani wedding: From the royal arena, Shahid Kapoor, Karan Johar star guest list dates, scoop
China Spying on America Using Balloon as Big as Three Buses? US Tracking Suspected Chinese Spy, Says Pentagon
Miami landlord is SLAMMED after filming himself telling tenant he’s more than doubling her rent
Qantas savaged after CEO Alan Joyce claims airline is ‘back to its best’
Actress And Hairdresser Took $3 Million From Malibu Doctor, Prosecutors Say
Report Traces Rising Prevalence of Semiautomatic Pistols in Gun Crimes
Unopened original iPhone set to ring up £41,000 at auction
Pentagon Discovers Suspected China Spy Balloon Over Northwest United States
Can a $1 TRILLION platinum coin solve the US debt crisis?
Who Do Bears Rub Against Trees? Scientists Offer New Explanation.
Lip reading analysis reveals Tom Brady raged about ‘sounding stupid’ during furious phone call
Biden Aims to Deter China With Greater US Military Presence in Philippines
Report finds 80 percent of butterflies have declined since the 1970s
Tech’s Biggest Companies Discover Austerity, to the Relief of Investors
MATT RIDLEY: Scientists will one day bring back dodos, great auks and even woolly mammoths
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders to deliver GOP State of the Union rebuttal
Furious legal row in Murdaugh trial over whether jury can hear about legal scion’s financial crimes
Soaring Death Toll Gives Grim Insight Into Russian Tactics
Mary Magdalene: Model’s 38J implant bursts, left with ‘alien uniboob’
The 10 US cities where black Americans fare best – and worst – economically