The Ukrainian ambassador shows himself on Twitter in front of a Leopard 1 tank. The "Leos" are likely to go from Germany to Ukraine faster than expected - in large numbers.
Munich/Düsseldorf - "New German toughness": Under this hashtag, the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Oleksii Makeiev, announced in a tweet on Wednesday (24 May) what will soon reach Ukraine: 110 Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks from German industrial stocks.
Tanks for Ukraine: Ambassador announces 110 Leopard 1s from Germany
Kiev will thus receive the huge delivery of German "Leos" approved by the traffic light federal government at the beginning of February much faster and in larger numbers than previously assumed. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) had spoken at the time of up to 178 possible Leopard 1s, but he named the delivery of 25 tanks by summer 2023 as the target.
After all, the tanks have yet to be prepared for combat by the German armaments company Rheinmetall from Düsseldorf, which may take over 25 old Leopard 2 tanks from Switzerland. Makeiew apparently showed up in front of a Leopard 1A5 at Rheinmetall and continued to write on his posting: "110 1A5. Soon."
It is an order of magnitude with a three-digit number of Western arms deliveries that has not yet been mentioned in the Ukraine war. When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Germany in mid-May, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) already symbolically handed him 30 Leopard 1s to defend Ukrainians against the Russian invasion.
Leopard 1 tanks for Ukraine: Germany will probably deliver more than 100 pieces
Earlier, Germany had handed over 18 more modern Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Kyiv as part of a NATO initiative. According to the Secretary General of the Transatlantic Defense Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, Ukraine has received more than 230 tanks from Western partners in recent months, as well as another 1550 armored vehicles for the planned counteroffensive - including 90 US Stryker wheeled tanks.
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Leopard 1 tanks for Ukraine: implementation in Germany took months
Meanwhile, Rheinmetall's delivery has dragged on for more than a year. It had already become known in April 2022 that the German arms company had offered the Ukrainian government 88 Leopard 1s from old stocks. In January, Rheinmetall publicly emphasized that it would be able to deliver a total of 139 "Leos" 1 and 2. Now there will soon be 110 copies, without affecting the stock of the Bundeswehr. (pm)