Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy thanked Germany for the decision to supply battle tanks after all. But there are too few, says the commander-in-chief in his speech on Tuesday evening.
Myrtle MuellerOutside Reporter News
The step is done. Olaf Scholz (64) announced the delivery of Leopard 2 main battle tanks in the German Bundestag on Tuesday. A company of 14 tanks from Bundeswehr stocks will roll into Ukraine in the next three months.
For weeks, the German chancellor struggled with the decision. Only when it transpired that the United States was considering sending 31 of its Abrams to the war zone did Scholz give in. With Germany, other NATO and EU countries are now following suit. France, Poland, Finland, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands want to provide tanks. Great Britain is also sending 14 of its Challenger 2.
In Ukraine, that goes down well. For months, the Russian army has been forcing the country into a costly war of attrition that is eating up resources. Moscow is preparing a major offensive in the spring. Without heavy weapons from the West, Ukraine would be lost. But the words of thanks for the German chancellor’s decision make people sit up and take notice. It’s not about a few tanks, said President Volodymyr Zelensky (45) on Tuesday evening in his daily video address. The need is much greater.
Selenski’s head of office Andriy Yermak (51) cheers online: “We will get everything for the reconquest of our areas and for the counter-offensive. Tank drivers will be happy, as will artillerymen and later also pilots.” Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk (47) is even clearer. He writes on Twitter: “And now, dear allies, let’s build a strong fighter jet coalition for Ukraine, with F-16s and F-35s, Eurofighters and Tornados, Rafale and Gripen jets – and all that you can deliver to Ukraine.”
“We need warships and submarines”
On top of that. Andriy Melnyk calls for more support for the Ukrainian Navy: “We need warships so that the coast can be protected, we have a very long coast. We would also need submarines to avert the danger of a new attack on the Black Sea coast,” Melnyk continues.
In an interview with a Russian blogger, Mykhailo Podoliak (50) explains what fighter jets could be good for. A military escalation within Russia is unavoidable, explains Zelensky’s top adviser. The Russians in cities like Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Yekaterinburg should feel the effects of the war.
Russia cannot be defeated militarily
Joachim Weber (56) observes this development with concern. “We cannot defeat the Russians militarily if the Russians do not agree to a defeat,” the security expert at the University of Bonn told Blick. And for the Russians there is currently no need to give in to peace.
The decision to deliver battle tanks to Ukraine after all is part of a spiral of escalation that has been observed since the beginning of the invasion. “The willingness to release ever heavier weapons occurs in time slices,” says Weber and asks: “How far does the West want to get involved in this war?” In principle, it is correct to strengthen Ukraine’s defenses, but the scientist advises that “one should continue with the diplomatic efforts that stopped in March 2022”.
“We won’t do that”
After the main battle tanks, could western tornadoes actually be delivered to Ukraine? The Chancellor made a clear statement on this. Scholz categorically ruled out the delivery of combat aircraft or the deployment of ground troops on Wednesday in the Bundestag. When no-fly zones were discussed shortly after the beginning of the war, he and US President Joe Biden (80) said that combat aircraft would not be delivered. ‘We won’t do that. And nothing has changed in this attitude and nothing will change, »said Scholz.
This would also apply to ground forces. Olaf Scholz assured: “I said there will be no direct involvement of NATO soldiers in the Ukraine war. This has not been the case so far and will not be the case in the future either. And everyone can rely on that.”