German Leopard-2 tanks arrive in Ukraine
Leopard 2 tank (Photo:REUTERS/Benjamin Westhoff)
All 18 Leopard-2 tanks and about 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, previously pledged by Berlin, are already in Ukraine, German newspaper Der Spiegel reported on March 27.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov also posted photos of the recently arrived Western vehicles on Facebook.
“It was an honor for me today to test a new replenishment in our reinforced units together with the commander of the Airborne Troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Major General Maxim ‘Mike’ Myrohorodsky and our paratroopers,” Reznikov wrote.
“Challengers from Britain, Strykers & Cougars from the United States, and Marders from Germany. A year ago, no one could’ve thought that the support of our partners would be this strong.”
Reuters also reported that two armored recovery vehicles and three more Leopard tanks from Portugal arrived in Ukraine as well.
On March 14, CNN reported that Ukrainian military personnel had almost completed their training on Leopard-2 main battle tanks and that Germany would soon be able to send them to Ukraine. A senior Bundeswehr spokesman said that the AFU troops trained from 12 to 14 hours a day, six days a week, for five weeks.
On Jan. 25, after much hesitation, Germany approved the transfer of 14 Leopard-2 tanks to Ukraine and their re-export from partner countries. On the same day, the United States announced the delivery of 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that the first tanks could be sent to Ukraine by the end of March.
The head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, said that a group of countries, including Germany, Poland, Canada, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, are working on transferring Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Kyiv needs 300-500 tanks to conduct a major offensive to liberate more Ukrainian territory from Russian occupation.
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