Ukraine Rejects 10 German Leopard Tanks Due to Repairs Needed
Kyiv complains about tank condition
Ukraine has rejected a group of 10 Leopard 1A5 tanks from Germany, saying they were in poor condition and needed repairs that Kyiv could not afford or perform.
The tanks were part of a military aid package from Berlin to help Kyiv defend itself against Russia’s invasion of its eastern regions.
According to Ukrainian newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda, citing German outlet Spiegel, Kyiv informed the German defense ministry that the tanks that arrived in Poland were unfit for service and some of them required a major overhaul.
The newspaper said Germany sent a group of experts to Poland to investigate the state of the tanks and found out that they were “already quite worn out after the training of the Ukrainian soldiers in Germany and needed repairs”.
Tanks break down in Ukraine
The report also said that several of the Leopard tanks that arrived in Ukraine in July “broke down for the same reason”.
Ukraine had received 40 Leopard tanks from Germany in June and July, as part of a deal that involved 100 tanks in total.
The tanks were supposed to boost Ukraine’s armored capabilities, as it faces a superior Russian force that has deployed thousands of troops, tanks, artillery and drones to its border and occupied parts of its territory.
However, the faulty tanks have caused frustration and disappointment among the Ukrainian military and political leadership, who have accused Germany of failing to deliver quality equipment and support.
Germany faces logistical challenges
The Spiegel report also highlighted the logistical challenges that Germany faced in providing military assistance to Ukraine.
The Leopard 1A5 tanks were retired from active service by the Bundeswehr more than a decade ago, but were kept in storage as surplus equipment.
Due to the urgent need to send them to Ukraine, there was a directive for armorers to undertake repairs quickly, but some of the tanks were not properly checked or fixed before shipment.
Germany also had to transport the tanks by rail through Poland, which caused delays and complications due to different rail gauges and customs procedures.
Germany pledges more support
Despite the problems with the tank delivery, Germany has pledged to continue supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s aggression.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday that Germany would provide Ukraine with an additional 400 million euros ($427 million) worth of weapons and aid, including ammunition, clothing, generators and medical supplies.
He also said that Germany would work with its allies in NATO and the European Union to impose more sanctions on Russia and seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
Germany has been one of the key mediators in the peace talks between Ukraine and Russia, along with France, but the talks have stalled since Russia launched its offensive on February 24.
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