Politician: US and Germany slow to supply tanks to Ukraine
Ukraine has asked the West for an urgent delivery of modern tanks to help its counteroffensive in the country’s northeast, but Western states have been slow to respond to the request. Politico wrote about this, citing seven sources.
According to the interlocutors of the publication, Kiev needs American M1 Abrams and German Leopards, however, national security officials in the United States and Germany are slow to provide tanks with training and logistics problems.
US M1 tanks are very different from the Soviet-made armored vehicles currently operated by Ukraine, Politico writes. Retired Gen. Ben Hodges, former commander of US Army Europe, noted that training is necessary to operate the M1 given its high fuel consumption.
“These are not rental cars, they come with a lot,” Hodges said. “Essentially, you’re adding hundreds of extra things that you have to take with you. … You’re looking at a U.S. Army tank company today, then thousands of gallons of fuel per day.”
According to a source in the newspaper, German Leopards are better suited to take part in the hostilities in Ukraine, because they are characterized by Soviet tanks. However, Berlin has repeatedly rejected Kiev’s requests for equipment supplies, and German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht recently announced an agreement between Germany and NATO partners “not to take such actions unilaterally.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said in an interview with Bild that armored vehicles have become a matter of survival for the Ukrainian army, and that German politicians must address these issues if Germany wants to help save Ukrainian lives. The supply problem is not only tanks but also “weapons of mass destruction”.
According to Zelensky, Germany should become an example for other states on the issue of providing military aid to Ukraine and not wait for their decisions. “If you don’t want to give us, listen, no offense, you’re an independent state, then don’t. But don’t try to say “first America, then Germany, then Poland and so on”. No need. Everyone should be responsible for themselves,” said Zelensky.
Previously, Germany and Poland agreed on a so-called “circular supply”. Since the beginning of the war, Warsaw has transferred more than 200 Soviet-style tanks to Ukraine. In return, Germany promised Poland modern German tanks, but has so far failed to keep this promise.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, German authorities reviewed the policy of restricting the supply of arms to conflict zones for the first time in recent history.
Earlier, Berlin agreed to supply Ukraine with 50 Dingo armored vehicles and has already transferred 24 Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns (ZSU) and Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled artillery mounts. However, they refuse to transfer any replacement (known as the best in the world) Leopard tanks to Kiev.
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