Volodymyr Zelensky

“It is not about five or ten or fifteen tanks. The need is greater.”

(Photo: obs)

Kyiv, Moscow Refined restraint instead of unbridled joy: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has expressed reluctance at reports that Berlin has approved the delivery of Leopard main battle tanks to his country. He is grateful, but it’s not about 15 tanks, the need is much greater, he said in his daily video address Tuesday night.

His office manager, Andrij Jermak, was clearly pleased. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba hinted at the next big debate, namely Ukraine’s desire for modern Western-made fighter jets.

According to information from coalition circles, the federal government wants to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and also allow the allies to do so. The Foreign Ministry has not yet ruled on the matter. According to “Spiegel”, it is planned to equip at least one company with the Leopard 2A6 version from the stocks of the Bundeswehr. This would require 14 of the weapon systems.
>> Read about it here: Germany wants to send Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine

In addition, it was announced by the US media that now US also wants to supply Ukraine with Abrams main battle tanks. This was reported by the “New York Times” on Tuesday night (local time), citing internal sources. According to the newspaper, there could be an official confirmation already this Wednesday. It could be from 30 to 50 tanks.

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Poland had previously announced the delivery of a Leopard company to Kyiv. Finland and other countries are also ready to supply leopards to Ukraine.

Ukraine has been asking for months

For months Ukraine has been insisting on the delivery of Western-style main battle tanks to fight the Russian attackers. The first official request came just a week after the start of the war in early March last year. The front line in eastern Ukraine has hardly moved in weeks. With the tanks, Ukraine hopes to go back on the offensive and retake more territory. At the same time, a Russian offensive is feared for the spring.

Selenski sees high demand for main battle tanks

“A lot of efforts, words, promises,” Selensky said Tuesday night in his daily video address about the months-long discussion over the handover of main battle tanks. It is more important to see reality. “It is not about five or ten or fifteen tanks. The need is greater.” Ukraine tries every day to make up for the lack of heavy main battle tanks. “And I appreciate each and every one of you who supports us in this.”

Discussions on the delivery of tanks must now lead to decisions, Selenski demanded. “Decisions that really strengthen our defense against (Russian) terrorists.” Ukraine’s allies had the required number of tanks. “If we have the necessary weight in the decisions, we will be happy to thank you for each important decision,” Zelenski emphasized. “We’re still working on it.”

Joy in Zelenski’s office for the delivery of the main battle tanks

“We will have everything, everything for the reconquest of our territories and for the counteroffensive,” wrote Zelenskiy’s Foreign Minister Andriy Yermak. “The tank drivers will be happy, as will the gunners and later the pilots as well.” Soon “everything will be Ukraine again”.

Referring to the pilots, the head of the Foreign Ministry anticipated a new discussion that Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had insinuated minutes before. “Now F-16? Yeah! I’ll take care of that,” he wrote on Facebook about a conversation with an anonymous European colleague.

In doing so, he revealed the next step of the Ukrainian leadership, which now also wants to strive to deliver fighter jets in the near future. The Ukrainian military has repeatedly pointed out that it also needs fighter jets to increase its combat effectiveness.

andriy melnyk

“Now, dear allies, let’s build a strong coalition of fighter jets for Ukraine.”


(Photo: dpa)

Former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk also welcomed the planned delivery to his country and immediately made more demands for modern fighter jets. “Hallelujah! Jesus Christ!” he wrote on Twitter, “And now, dear allies, let’s build a strong coalition of fighter jets for Ukraine, with F-16s and F-35s, Eurofighters and Tornados, Rafale and Gripen jets, and whatever they can deliver to Ukraine.” Melnyk is now his country’s deputy foreign minister.

This is how the Handelsblatt reports on the Ukrainian war:

What will be important on Wednesday.

The US and German tank plans are expected to be more concrete on Wednesday. It is not yet clear which Leopard variant it is and which countries will continue to deliver. The number of main battle tanks is also unknown.

More: Don’t miss any developments in the Ukrainian war – everything new in our news blog

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