War in Ukraine: Germany was selected after deciding not to deliver the Leopard tanks
Germany was chosen this Saturday because of its position in the context of the war in Ukraine. It was decided, for now, not to send heavy tanks.
In a rare public criticism, the foreign ministers of the Baltic countries (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia) urged this Saturday morning Berlin, the capital of Germany, “to supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine now”, invoking Germany’s “specificity of responsibility,” first European power”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky lamented Germany’s cautious position late on Friday, saying he believed there was “no other solution” for his Western allies other than sending tanks to his troops.
Direct criticism of Berlin also came from US Republican senator Lindsey Graham after a visit to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, Friday. “I’ve had enough damn show… around who’s going to send the tanks and when,” he said on Twitter. “To Germany: send tanks to Ukraine because they need them (…) To the Biden administration: send American tanks so others will follow our example.”
In Ramstein, Germany, the fifty or so countries represented on Friday did not approve the delivery of heavy tanks to Kyiv, despite repeated requests from Ukraine. Quoted by The Voice of America, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksiï Reznikov, indicated that the Ukrainian army will soon be training Leopards in Poland: “We will start with that, and we will look at the following.”
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, meanwhile, emphasized that there is always a “window of opportunity between now and spring” to deliver Western tanks.
According to Russia, the delivery of such a device will not change anything on the ground, presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, accusing the West of actually maintaining an “illusion” of a possible Ukrainian victory. However, for many experts, modern heavy tanks will be a real boon for Kyiv in the fighting in eastern Ukraine, where Russia is on the offensive again after suffering a major setback in the fall.
The acceleration of the fighting in the Zaporizhia region
In Kyiv, Volodymyr Zelensky and Olena Zelenska and many Ukrainian leaders paid their last respects this Saturday morning to Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, who died Wednesday in a helicopter crash along with 13 other people. The president and his wife were dressed all in black and carried flowers. Inside the building where the ceremony took place, located very close to Maidan Square in the heart of Kyiv, seven coffins were carried away, carried by men in military uniforms. A blue and yellow Ukrainian flag is displayed on each, and black and white portraits of the victims are next to them. Among the audience, family members of the victims stood side by side, some were crying. Outside, Ukrainian and European flags were hung at half-mast. A heavy police presence was seen around the building.
Elsewhere in Ukraine, Russian occupation authorities on Friday reported a “sharp increase in intensity” of clashes in the Zaporizhia region, “across the entire front”. “This is unprecedented,” said a regional occupation authority leader. In its morning bulletin on Saturday, the Ukrainian army said it had been attacked the day before in a dozen villages in the region. This line of contact between the Ukrainian and Russian armies in the south has remained largely stationary for several months and no major fighting took place there, unlike the Kherson (south) area, until November, and Donetsk (east), the epicenter of the clashes when this.