Germany reveals extent of military aid to Ukraine
The German government updated its list of military supplies given to Ukraine on Friday, with the latest batch including mine clearing tanks, reconnaissance systems, and howitzers. Berlin has also vowed to send an additional 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) to Kiev.
The statement said Ukraine received five autonomous mobile surveillance SurveilSPIRE platforms from Germany. According to its manufacturer, the Estonian company DefSecIntel, the trailer-based complexes are equipped with a drone nest and “built-in AI detection software,” and supposedly do not require field operators. Additionally, Berlin has provided Kiev with long-range Vector reconnaissance drones.
The latest military assistance batch includes two Wisent 1 mine-clearing tanks, and 11 mine plows for the Soviet-made T-72 tanks. Germany has also supplied two Slovakian-made Zuzana 2 self-propelled howitzers, as part of a project jointly financed by Denmark and Norway.
According to the government report, Berlin plans to more than double its funding for the NATO Security Capacity Building Initiative, compared to 2022. The program is designed to “provide support” for the military bloc’s “partners”. Last year, Germany spent €2 billion ($2.21 billion) on the scheme. In 2023, it has allocated €5.4 billion ($5.95 billion) for the project.
“These funds are to be used primarily for military assistance to Ukraine,” the government report said, adding that “additional authorizations” had been made for commitments amounting to €10.5 billion ($11.58 billion) over “the following years.”
The list of Germany’s planned military aid for Ukraine includes a total of 60 Marder IFVs, as well as 100 Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks, together with ammunition for the respective heavy equipment. Berlin also seeks to send 25,500 155mm artillery projectiles and 18,000 man-portable anti-tank weapons to Kiev.
Germany had already supplied the Ukrainian forces with 10 Leopard 1A5 tanks and 18 more modern Leopard 2A6 tanks, as well as 40 Marder IFVs as part of a massive Western military aid campaign ahead of Kiev’s much-touted offensive. Some of the German-made heavy equipment, including Leopard tanks, has since been either destroyed or captured by Russian troops following the start of the Ukrainian operation.
Kiev’s offensive has so far failed to bring any tangible results or significantly change the situation on the frontlines, some two months after it was launched in early June. On Friday, just as Berlin was updating its military assistance list for Kiev, Moscow issued an update on estimated Ukrainian casualties.
Ukraine has lost more than 43,000 servicemen during the offensive, the Russian Defense Ministry said. Over 4,900 pieces of Ukrainian heavy weaponry have been destroyed since early June, including 25 German-made Leopard main battle tanks, seven French-made AMX-10 RC ‘wheeled tanks’ and 21 US-made Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, it added.
Russia has repeatedly warned that continued arms supplies to Ukraine will only extend the conflict and prolong human suffering. It has also accused Washington, and its allies in Europe and elsewhere, of showing a disregard for the lives of Ukrainian soldiers.