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Delivery of Leopard 2: The first German tanks should arrive in three months

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In the end it will depend on the German-made tanks. The US also wants to deliver 31 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine. But it could be months before they are in use.

The delivery announcement from Washington was apparently primarily aimed at clearing the way for a delivery of German-made battle tanks. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had made it a condition that Europeans and Americans act together.

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The first Leopard tanks from Germany, on the other hand, should arrive in Ukraine in about three months, announced Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) on Wednesday after a meeting of the Defense Committee in the Bundestag. The training of Ukrainian soldiers on the Leopard tanks will now quickly begin and the supply routes will also be clarified very quickly.

A Leopard 2A6 Main Battle Tank
© dpa / dpa / Philipp Schulze

der Ukrainian military analyst Mykola Bielieskov assumes that Ukraine will be able to deploy the Leopard 2 tanks in the spring. “I think it is realistic that we will see a larger number of western main battle tanks on the Ukrainian side of the front in the second quarter,” Bielieskov told Tagesspiegel.

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The training of Ukrainian soldiers on the Cheetah and the Panzerhaubitze 2000 took more than a month. He estimates that it will take a similar amount of time for the Leopard 2.

I think it is realistic that we will see a larger number of western main battle tanks on the Ukrainian side of the front in Q2

Mykola BielieskovUkrainian military analyst

A new Russian offensive will probably start in the second quarter of this year, earlier it is unrealistic, said the defense expert. “However, the deliveries from the West that have now been announced will increase the pressure on Russia to start the offensive as early as possible.”

Western battle tanks are supposed to turn the tide

The expected spring offensive by the Russian army was also the reason why Ukraine has been demanding a delivery of Western battle tanks with increasing urgency in recent weeks. Defense Minister Oleksii Resnikov and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba pointed out in a joint statement how urgently their country needs battle tanks in the current situation.

Despite the previous military aid from the West, Russia has a “substantial quantitative advantage in terms of troops, weapons and military equipment,” the two ministers warned. Russian troops are currently continuing their offensive in eastern Ukraine, and the Kremlin is determined to further escalate hostilities. In addition, a new major offensive by Russia is threatening.

In this situation, so the hope in Kyiv, the Western battle tanks should turn the tide. However, the supreme commander of the Ukrainian armed forces, Valerii Zalushnyj, calculated that his country would need 300 tanks, 600 to 700 infantry vehicles and 500 howitzers to turn the tide.

“We need that many main battle tanks to conduct offensive operations,” explained Bielieskov. This is a guideline.

“We can calculate that in order to be able to launch a successful attack, we need to create ten companies, each with ten tanks,” said the Ukrainian defense expert. Usually ten to 14 tanks formed a company.

Germany wants to make a company with 14 tanks available to the Ukraine. According to the German government, the aim of the international partners is “to quickly put together two tank battalions with Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine”.

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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