humorously, Ukraine requested Leclerc tanks from France

On December 8, 2022, Leclerc’s tank from 1uh Chasseur Regiment. Thomas SAMSON/AFP

Communications from Kyiv have been well established since the start of the war. A new example with a video published this Thursday by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Westerners have become philosophers to know what a “tank” is and what it is not. So do we, of coursewrote this Thursday on the Twitter of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, accompanied by a funny video some of these mysterious words. In order to understand this, we must return to the announcement by the Élysée, on January 4th, regarding delivery “light tanks” French.

This is the old AMX-10 RC, an armored reconnaissance and combat vehicle that entered service in 1981 and will soon be replaced in the French army by the new Jaguar. They must have had a very powerful 105mm gun, but, lo and behold, the AMX-10 RC sits on six wheels, and not on rails – hence the name, RV means “cannon wheel“. That sparked enough Byzantine debate: can we really talk about tanks, even light ones?

For Ukrainians, the answer doesn’t matter. Having the AMX-10 RC is a good thing, whatever it’s called, and they especially wanted to have the Leclerc, a French battle tank, which there’s no arguing about semantics.

This is the subject of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense video in which we see a 55-tonne tank moving around Paris to the background of the song “Beautiful, beautiful, beautifulby Claude François. And some answers that feel good:Still worried? [soupir] When it comes to tanks, it’s not them that interest me, it’s what they become“. Existentialist statement signed “Jean Paul Sartre” To the picture. The rope is big, but we smile.

The central question at the Ramstein meeting

Then it appears as an advertisement. “Discover the brand new “super-mini” Leclerc. Compact. Athlete. Easy parking.Tanks are seen boarding flatbed trucks along the Champs-Élysées. “Because it’s not the size that matters, it’s how you use it“, laughed out loud the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. The request was hardly philosophical, but the message was conveyed: Ukraine wanted tanks, while Kyiv expected a new offensive from Russia, supported by the mobilization of its 300,000 men, and wanted to have enough heavy weapons to be able to launch a counteroffensive. after its success in the summer.

Poland has announced its intention to supply German-made Leopard tanks, and the UK is due to deliver some of their Challengers. But so far nothing massive. The Americans, at this point, are refraining from shipping their Abrams. All eyes were on Germany, which held the key, as the manufacturer of the Leopards, to decide whether or not to deliver these tanks substantially for use in many European countries, numbering around 2,000 across the old continent. Leclerc’s request was more complicated as France only had around 200 in operation, and his reserves were few.

With its hilarious video, Kyiv is remembering its priorities as a meeting of Kyiv Allies Defense Ministers is being held this Friday at the American base at Ramstein in Germany. Questions about tanks will be central there.

Already, Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu referred to Leclerc in an unflattering way during Wednesday’s intervention in the Senate. “For the Leclerc tank, the President of the Republic asked us, the Chief of Staff and myself, to examine this Ukrainian request, subject to an analysis of three criteria.“explained the minister, detailing the supply of weapons in Kyiv the following three imperatives: maintenance of a “defensive logic in mastering climbing» ; facts from “so as not to undermine our security and defense model» ; “maintenance in operational condition” ingredients. “The Leclerc tank issue is very central and sensitiveregarding this last point, explains Sébastien Lecornu, implicitly raises the logistical difficulties that such a choice would create. At this stage, Leclerc’s delivery is yet to be made for tomorrow, despite the Ukrainian humour.

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