September 26, 2023

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Germany has delivered its first heavy weaponry to Ukraine in response to Russian aggression. This announcement came after weeks of pressure from abroad and at home, as well as confusion about its stance.

Christine Lambrecht, German Defence Minister, stated that the government approved Monday’s delivery of Gepardtanks with anti-aircraft guns, from company KMW stock.

Lloyd Austin, the U.S. Secretary for Defence, stated that he was pleased with Germany’s decision “to send 50 Cheetah system”

After talks with Lambrecht, he stated that “those systems will provide real capabilities for Ukraine.” He also spoke of the dozens of counterparts at U.S. Ramstein Air Base in West Germany.

Marcel Dirsus is a non-resident fellow at Kiel University‚Äôs Institute for Security Policy. He said that the true significance of Germany’s decision was not in the differences the Gepards will make on the battlefield, but in the signal it sends.

He stated that “Europe’s biggest economy is taking a serious approach to supporting Ukraine and more assistance is on the way.”

Critics, including the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, accused Berlin of being slow to give heavy weapons to Ukraine and to take other measures that could help Kyiv repel Russian forces such as an embargo against Russian energy imports.

They claim that Berlin isn’t showing the leadership expected from a major power and that the hesitations of the German government – amid concerns about the economic impact on Germany of cutting off supplies of Russian gas to the country – are costing the lives of the Ukrainian people.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz countered that the Bundeswehr’s armed forces are already at their limit and that any weaponry the industry might provide is not ammunition-ready.

Scholz, a Social Democrat whose party has long advocated the rapprochement of Russia after World War Two warned that Moscow could perceive Germany as a part of the conflict and this could lead to a “third global war”.

But even his junior partners, the Greens, and the Free Democrats have raised questions about this reasoning, arguing that Germany must do more.

Since Moscow moved its offensive to Donbas in eastern Russia, Ukrainian pleas for heavy arms have increased. Donbas is considered more suitable for tank battles that the area around Kyiv.

Gepard deliveries were announced after Rheinmetall (RHMG.DE), a defence company, reported on Monday that it had applied for government approval to deliver 100 Marder infantry fighting vehicles and 88 Leopard 1A5 tanks from Ukraine.

Moscow refers to its actions in Ukraine as a “special army operation” that seeks to weaken the military capabilities of its southern neighbour and expel what it considers dangerous nationalists.

This is what the West and Ukraine call a false pretext to start an unprovoked war for seizing territory. In an attempt to force Russia to withdraw its forces, the West has placed severe economic sanctions on Russia. The Ukrainian resistance has been strong.


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