Kyiv Mayor and former heavyweight boxing champion Vitaliy Klitschko has described as “a joke” the statement made by German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht on Jan. 26 that Berlin would send 5,000 helmets to Ukraine as defensive, non-lethal, military aid.
“What will Germany send us next? Pillows?” Klitschko said in comments German newspaper Bild.
According to Klitschko, the German government has failed to grasp the gravity of the situation of Russia’s military buildup on the Ukrainian border, where at least 127,000 Russian soldiers are estimated to have been deployed, according to Ukrainian intelligence.
“The German government’s attitude leaves me speechless,” added Klitshcko.
Germany has previously refused to supply arms to Kyiv, saying that lethal weapons would not help de-escalate the situation. The German government also claimed Berlin did not supply weapons to conflict zones, although in recent years Germany has been shipping arms to a number of countries in the Middle East and Africa, including zones of deadly armed conflicts.
At the same time, members of the German parliament have said that they may be prepared to consider sending lethal military aid to Ukraine in the light of fears of an imminent Russian invasion.
Since the end of Oct. 2021, Russia has been massing troops to the Ukrainian borders. Russia has since deployed more than 127,000 troops and offensive weapons near the Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the latest intelligence estimate from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine provided to CNN this week.
International media have speculated that Russia may invade Ukraine in early 2022, in an operation that could involve up to 200,000 Russian soldiers.
The Kremlin says the troop movements are an internal affair of Russia.
At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of planning “provocations,” and alleged that Kyiv plans to regain control of the occupied territories by military means. The Kremlin has failed to back up any of its allegations with evidence, however.