Ukraine on Thursday urged his Western allies to hand over tanks and to “stop trembling” before the Russian president, Vladimir Putinin reference to the fear of some countries of a war escalation in Europe.
“There are no taboos. From Washington to London, from Paris to Warsaw, they say: Ukraine needs tanks. It’s the key to ending the war”, Mikhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, tweeted. “It is time to stop trembling before Putin and to fulfill that last stage”, he added.
“True leadership is leading by example, not looking up to others,” he also wrote.
The adviser made these statements at the eve of the meeting of the Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine at the US Ramstein airbase in Germany, where kyiv’s partners plan to announce major new military aid that will include more weapons and ammunition, as well as armored vehicles and, the government of Volodimir Zelenskymodern tanks.
The Kremlin raises the rhetoric
But from Russia they also issued strong warning statements with a view to that meeting.
The Kremlin warned Thursday of an escalation in Ukraine if the West provides the pro-Western country with more weapons capable of hitting Russia. “Potentially, this is extremely dangerous, it will mean take conflict to a whole new levelwhich, of course, does not bode well from the point of view of global and pan-European security,” government spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
On the other hand, the former president Dmitry Medvedev warned that continued Western support for Ukraine could lead to a nuclear war.
“A nuclear power that loses in a conventional war can provoke the outbreak of a nuclear war,” he wrote. “The nuclear powers have not lost major conflicts on which their fate depends.”
Peskov said Medvedev’s comments were in line with Russia’s nuclear doctrine.
The Leopard 2, the armored vehicle that Ukraine craves
The Leopard 2a German-made armored battle tank, is currently at the center of discussions about possible new arms shipments to Ukraine, which is asking for them as a contribution that it considers could be key to confronting the Russian invasion.
The tanks, which have a capacity for four soldiers and can fire at targets up to 5,000 meters away, were the result of further development of knowledge gained in a joint project with the US that was discontinued in 1969.
The development of the Leopard was done thinking about frontal battles with other tank divisions so the armor on the sides and rear is less robust.
The Leopard 2 has a weight of about 60 tons, it can develop a speed close to 70 kilometers per hourhas the ability to cross flooded areas and rivers up to 4 meters deep and has a periscope.
The most recent model is the Leopard 2 A7V but old models such as the Leopard 2 A4 are still in operation, which are the ones that Spain has whose copies, however, are in a state that, according to Defense Minister Margarita Robles, makes it is ruled out that they are ceded to Ukraine.
Poland has 247 Leopard 2s, of the 2A4 and 2A5 type, and has expressed its desire to cede 14 of these armored cars to Ukraine.
The different types respond, on the one hand, to modernizations that have been made to the model and also to specific wishes and needs of the client countries. According to the specialized publication Janes, there are 18 who have Leopard 2 in operation and a transfer to Ukraine must be authorized in principle by Germany.
UK sends missiles
UK will ship to Ukraine 600 additional Brimstone-type missiles to help the country cope with the Russian invasion, the British Defense Minister announced Thursday in Estonia.
Minister Ben Wallace made the announcement during a visit to the Tapa military base in Estonia after attending a donor meeting with several of his counterparts. “Today, I can announce that we are going to send another 600 Brimstone missiles to the theater of operations, which going to be extraordinarily important in helping Ukraine dominate the battlefield”, he told reporters.
This major weapons delivery promise comes a few days after the UK became the first country to comply with Ukraine’s insistent request to receive western heavy tanks.
Parallel to this announcement, Denmark reported that it is going to donate all of its 19 Caesar long-range guns to Ukraine, a French-made material, some of which have already been ordered but have not yet been received.
(With information from AFP and EFE)
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