Ukraine has more weapons for its war with Russia but not German tanks

Ukraine managed to rally the West once again to supply it with weapons, including Bradley Fighting Vehicles, self-propelled howitzers and more, a month before the first anniversary of the war. Despite there being an enthusiastic response from many countries, Germany remains adamant about supplying the $Leopard 2A tank, which Ukraine says could be key to its Spring Offensive – much to the frustration of NATO allies.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius On Friday at Ramstein Air Base in Germany He told reporters that his government had not yet agreed to send the tanks or allow third-party countries that possessed the German-made vehicles to send them to Ukraine for a possible spring offensive. Allied defense ministers met at the US military base on Friday to discuss further arms packages for Ukraine.

Throughout the war, there was a high level of coordination between NATO and the other allies, not only on arms packages, but on the application of sanctions to Russia and other forms of aid to Ukraine as well. Coordination on arms packages requires diplomacy, and there are laws and regulations regarding arms transfers – hence the meeting in Ramstein and Thursday meeting in Estonia.

However, the calls for the Panthers—and disappointment with German Chancellor Olaf Schultz—came refused to allow their release – Overshadowed by the news of the arms packages that come as a result of coordination by about 50 different countries. On Saturday, the Baltics – Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania issued a statement urging Germany to provide tanks immediately. “Germany, as the main European power, has a special responsibility in this regard,” the statement said in part.

Thursday , Nine countries meet in Estonia Denmark, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Poland, the Netherlands and Slovakia – pledged support for the larger package Rammstein announced on Friday. These promises include training, ammunition, man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS, specifically the Stinger missile), helicopters, and anti-aircraft weapons, among other systems.

“This is a defining moment,” said US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. In Rammstein meeting Friday. “Russia is regrouping, recruiting and trying to re-equip” after the successful Ukrainian campaigns in Kharkiv and Kherson this fall, he said, adding that “this is not a moment to slow down — it’s time to dig deeper.”

As Austin pointed out, Russia may be planning a spring offensive based on last fall’s mobilization efforts. And after the withdrawal from the kharkiv and kherson regions, the Russian army – in particular Mercenary unit of the Wagner Group And The newly appointed transnational criminal organization – The retreat took place in a crushing battle for the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region.

A coordinated arms package indicates continued Western support

Throughout the war, Western and NATO support for the war effort in Ukraine remained resolute, though stress potential on rising fuel prices Because of sanctions on Russian energy, among other potential pain points. European countries and the United States have supplied Ukraine with billions of dollars in weapons systems, training, equipment, ammunition and humanitarian aid in the 11 months since the start of the war, Led by the American leadership.

In the latest package – it was announced just two weeks after the US pledged it The largest ever tranche of aid to Ukraine – NATO and other partners have pledged to increase air defenses, such as Patriot launchers and missiles From the Netherlands and Germany in addition to what is in the United States Pledge December 21st. These systems intercept incoming missiles like the kind Russia uses to bomb critical infrastructure in Ukraine.

United State It will also send additional Bradley Fighting Vehicles, as well Stryker armored personnel carriersAnd Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs) and Humvees – All of which will help with greater mobility on the battlefield, especially for the Russian forces Use of land mineseven in urban areas.

Sweden sends its own Archer The artillery system, which is a type of howitzer, is very accurate, easy to use and allows for rapid redeployment of weapons. These weapon systems fire long-range projectiles, and the Archer in particular is highly mobile, meaning it can spread out and move quickly. Denmark and Estonia are too Howitzer donation.

The United Kingdom has pledged 14 Challenger 2 tanks The first Western-style tanks were sent to Ukraine during the conflict. Partners had previously supplied Ukraine with Soviet tanks of their own and among them Former Warsaw Pact countries Which perished after a year of fighting. Not only do the new vehicles deliver modern tanks to Ukraine, but they also put pressure on other partners to provide their own.

What is immobilization in Germany?

Despite the significant new packages announced by the partner countries, Germany’s reluctance to provide or allow other partner countries to send the Leopard 2 became a major point of contention within the partnership.

Germany refuses to send the Leopard 2 Unless the United States first sends the M-1 AbramsSchulz said that Germany would not “Go aloneOn arms decisions. Critics From this account he says that the Panthers and Challengers are the only vehicles suitable for the current battlefield, readily available in large numbers and easily maintainable with existing supply lines.

Mina Olander, a research fellow at the Finnish Institute for International Affairs, told The New York Times Thursday. “Logistics and maintenance will be easier. Spare parts and knowledge are here in Europe, so it will be easier to train Ukrainians.”

The Leopard 2 tank was first introduced in 1979 and is in use in 13 countries. There are about 2,000 of them spread across those European countries, all with different mods, upgrade levels, and battle readiness, a September blog post from European Council on Foreign Relations pointed out. Germany more cautious after World War II military culture Berlin’s reluctance to send arms was to blame.

While a large number of tanks would be important to Ukraine’s efforts on the battlefield — Kyiv initially ordered 88 Leopard 1 tanks and 100 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, another product of the German defense industry — the small number of Challenger tanks coming from Britain would not be A decisive factor in how and whether Ukraine can make significant gains against Russia. Tanks provide protection and firepower, and are highly maneuverable in difficult conditions. However, “this isn’t really about one platform,” Austin said on Friday. According to the Associated Pressnoting that the armored and combat vehicles being sent by the United States will give Ukraine new capabilities on the battlefield.

American politicians, incl Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCall Both called for the United States to send at least one Abrams to Ukraine in order to force Germany to do so.

Poland, too, is fighting back, saying it could find a way to send the Panthers with or without German approval. “Consent is of secondary importance here, either we will get this approval quickly, or we will do what is required ourselves,” Prime Minister Morawiecki In statements to Radio Polestat News, Wednesday. Finland is also on board to send the Panthers, Morawiecki said on Sunday to his country He will be touring Germany To build a smaller coalition of partners who are ready to send their tanks. “We will not passively watch Ukraine bleed to death,” he said.

Poland, Finland, and the Baltic states as front-line states—some, like the Baltic states, were part of the Soviet Union or were subject to Russian and Soviet invasion, like Finland—tend to urgently sound the alarm about the need to defend themselves. from Russian aggression. “The war is here and now,” Moriwicki said Sunday. Do the Germans want to keep? [the Leopards] In storage until Russia defeats Ukraine and knocks on the door of Berlin? “

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