Ukrainian troops to start training on Leopard tanks next week

3 February, 12:45 AM
Leopard 2 tank (Photo:REUTERS/Benjamin Westhoff)

Leopard 2 tank (Photo:REUTERS/Benjamin Westhoff)

Ukrainian servicemen will begin training on German-made Leopard-2 main battle tanks as part of an EU-funded training mission next week, Financial Times reported on Feb. 2, citing two informed sources.

According to the sources, everything is in place to begin training Ukrainian crews. The final details of the training plan were agreed upon during a meeting of representatives of Western defense departments in Germany on Feb. 1. The training is expected to take about six weeks.

One of the FT sources said that hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers have already gone to the training centers in Germany and Poland.

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On Feb. 2, head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, announced that the EU would double the number of Ukrainian military personnel (to 30,000) who would be trained as part of the EUMAM military assistance mission to Ukraine.

Earlier, the commander of the Polish training center for Leopard tanks said that the training time for the Ukrainian soldiers could be reduced from ten to five weeks.

On Jan. 25, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz officially announced that Germany would transfer 14 Leopard-2 tanks to Ukraine and approve their re-export from partner countries. According to German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, the tanks could be sent to Ukraine in around three months.

The same day, U.S. President Joe Biden announced plans to supply 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, along with the equipment and spare parts needed to keep them running. Biden added that while the delivery of Abrams will take some time, training of Ukrainian crews will begin as soon as possible.

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