Germany announces it will give tanks to Ukraine

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 25 Jan 2023 by Alex Teddy

On January 25 the move was declared by the German government. For weeks Ukraine and NATO beseeched Germany to allow other countries to donate Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Germany has allowed this but gone even further by giving 14 Leopard 2 tanks belonging to the German Army. Germany has 350 operational Leopard 2's and it has 200 more in storage. Countries that possess Leopard 2's include the Netherlands, Finland, Austria, Denmark, Spain, Poland and others. There are over 2,000 such tanks in European NATO countries. Germany said it hopes that all the tanks donated to Ukraine will amount to 2 tank battalions. Ukraine is in a hurry as it anticipates a Russian spring offensive.  The German government is a coalition of the Social Democrats, Greens and Free Democrats. The Chancellor is a Social Democrat. It was reportedly the other coalition parties that pressured him into changing his mind about Leopard 2's because he was initially against giving German Army tanks and even against allowing countries that had bought them to give them to Ukraine. Chancellor Scholz wanted the US to donate its Abrams tanks if Germany allowed Leopard 2's to be donated to Ukraine. It is unclear whether the US will do this. The Abrams tank is very heavy, fuel intensive and difficult to maintain. It tanks months to train on. The US says it is not the right tank for Ukraine. Russia is deeply unhappy about the news. Putin's spokesman said that these tanks will be destroyed in Ukraine by the Russians.

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