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"Compact. Jock. Easy to park": with humor, Ukraine asks France for Leclerc tanks


Communication from kyiv has been well established since the beginning of the war. New example with a video published this Thursday by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

Western nations have become philosophers to know what is and what is not a 'tank'.

We too, of course

, ”wrote the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense on Twitter this Thursday, accompanying a funny video with these few enigmatic words.

To understand this, we have to go back to the announcement by the Élysée, on January 4, of the dispatch to Ukraine of French “

light tanks


To discover

  • Follow information on the war in Ukraine with the Figaro application

These are old AMX-10 RC, reconnaissance and combat armored vehicles put into service in 1981 and soon to be replaced in the French armies by the new Jaguar.

They certainly have a particularly powerful 105 millimeter gun, but, lo and behold, the AMX-10 RC is placed on six wheels, and not on tracks - hence its name, RV meaning "



It was enough to trigger a Byzantine debate: can we really talk about tanks, even light ones?

For Ukrainians, the answer does not matter.

Having AMX-10 RC is a good thing, whatever their name, and they would especially like to have Leclerc, the French combat tank, for which there is no semantic debate.

This is the subject of the video of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense in which we see the 55-ton tank moving in Paris with, in the background, the song “

Belles, belles, belles

” by Claude François.

And a few well-felt replies: “

Still worried?

[sigh] When it comes to tanks, it's not what they are that interests me, but what they become


Existentialist statement signed "

Jean-Paul Sartre

" on the image.

The string is big, but we smile.

Central question at the Ramstein meeting

Then comes as an advertisement.

Discover the brand new Leclerc “super-mini”.



Easy to park.

The tank is seen climbing heavily onto a flatbed truck along the Champs-Élysées.


Because it's not the size that counts, but the way you use it

," laughs handsomely the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

The request is hardly philosophical, but the message gets through: Ukraine wants tanks, while kyiv expects a new offensive from Russia, supported by its mobilization of 300,000 men, and wants to have heavy weapons sufficiently numerous to be able to relaunch a counter-offensive after its successes of the summer.

Already, Poland has announced its wish to supply German-made Leopard tanks, and the British will send some of their Challenger.

But nothing massive so far.

The Americans, at this point, refrain from sending their Abrams.

All eyes are on Germany, which holds the key, as the producer of the Leopard, to decide whether or not to send these tanks substantially into service in many European countries, numbering around 2,000 across the whole old continent.

Leclerc's request is more delicate since France only has some 200 operational ones, and the reserves are slim.

Read alsoWar in Ukraine: with heavy tanks, kyiv hopes for a tactical advantage

With its humorous video, kyiv thus recalls its priorities while a meeting of defense ministers of kyiv's allies is being held this Friday at the American base at Ramstein in Germany.

The question of the tanks will be central there.

Already, the Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu mentioned the Leclercs in an uninviting way during an intervention Wednesday in the Senate.


For the Leclerc tanks, the President of the Republic asked us, the Chief of Staff and myself, to investigate this Ukrainian request, subject all the same to the analysis of three criteria

", explained the minister, detailing for arms supplies in Kiev the following three imperatives: the maintenance of a “

defensive logic in the control of escalation


the fact of “

not damaging our security and defense model


the "

maintenance in operational condition

" of equipment.

The issue of Leclerc tanks is particularly central and sensitive

regarding this last point, explained Sébastien Lecornu, implicitly evoking the logistical difficulties that such a choice would represent.

At this stage, sending Leclerc is not yet for tomorrow, despite the Ukrainian humor.


- War in Ukraine: "Tanks must be delivered", announces Charles Michel after his meeting with Zelensky

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-19

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