14 June, 12:44 PM

Scholz explained delays with German military supplies to Ukraine

German military supplies have yet to arrive in Ukraine because Ukrainian servicemembers need time to train up on how to use them, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, in response to criticism that Germany has been too slow in providing military aid to Ukraine, German news outlet Spiegel reported on June 13.

“It's really heavy equipment,” he explained.

“You have to be able to use that, you have to be trained for it, that's currently taking place in the Federal Republic of Germany.”

Scholz reiterated Berlin’s commitment to provide Ukraine with weapons that it earlier pledged to supply. Scholz has faced criticism for delays in aid both from Ukrainians and internationally.

One widely held belief, according to media reports, for the delay, is that Ukraine could start using German weapons for invading Russia’s sovereign territory.

Andriy Melnyk, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, commented the delays, pointing out that, as of June, Berlin has yet to deliver a single unit of German heavy weapons to Ukraine, though approved such a decision yet on April 26.

According to Melnyk, Ukraine may receive seven self-propelled howitzers by June 22 and 30 Gepards, self-propelled anti-aircraft systems, in two installments by the end of August.

Gepards are anti-aircraft weapons used by the German military, which can operate as both surface-to-air and surface-to-surface artillery. It uses a Mercedes-Benz multi-fuel engine, while its main armament is a cannon that can shoot 320 rounds of anti-air ammunition and 20 rounds of anti-tank ammunition at a time.

Gepards inherited their chassis from Leopards, German tanks that the Ukrainian army also expects to receive. Previously, the Spanish government pledged to provide Ukraine with Leopards, but a Spiegal report suggests that there exists an “unofficial agreement among Western powers” not to supply Ukraine with tanks, causing the German government to block the Spanish deal.

Leopards are modern tanks that are believed to be able to date able to change the course of combat. They are digital-age NATO-standard tanks with improved safety solutions.

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