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2 Nov, 2023 18:05

Germany hands Ukraine another 25 Leopard tanks

Berlin is expected to spend $5.73 billion on military aid to Kiev this year, officials report
Germany hands Ukraine another 25 Leopard tanks

The German federal government revealed on Wednesday that Berlin has sent Ukraine an additional 25 Leopard tanks. This latest shipment brings the total number of these vehicles handed over to the Eastern European country from Berlin to 115, according to a government press release.

Germany and Denmark have embarked on a collaborative project, as mentioned in the statement, to provide Kiev with older iterations of Berlin’s primary battle tank, the Leopard 1A5. The most recent shipment also added nearly two dozen reconnaissance drones and five new drone boats to Ukraine’s supplies. Berlin also shipped Kiev a total of 12 new armored personnel carriers and six airspace surveillance radars, along with around 30 military trucks and 30,000 sets of winter clothing.

According to government data, Berlin is set to allocate €5.4 billion ($5.73 billion) for military aid to Kiev this year. Most of these funds will be dedicated to supplying military equipment and training to Ukraine. However, a portion of the budget will be earmarked for replacing Germany’s military assets and supporting the European Peace Facility (EPF). The EPF covers the costs incurred by EU members in providing essential military support services to Ukraine, according to the government.

Next year, Germany plans to nearly double the sum it spends on supporting Ukraine’s war effort. The nation’s military assistance commitments for 2024 already amount to around €10.5 billion ($11.15 billion), according to government data.

These new figures come months after Ukraine’s counteroffensive, which is widely thought to have failed to bring about tangible results, began in early June. The operation was preceded by a massive Western military assistance campaign for Kiev, with the US and its allies providing hundreds of heavy weapons to Ukraine.

According to the latest estimates provided by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, the Ukrainian military has lost more than 90,000 soldiers to deaths and injuries, as well as some 600 tanks and over 1,900 armored vehicles of various types, since June 4.

The Russian military has also regularly published videos of Western military equipment supplied to Kiev being destroyed by drones, artillery, helicopters, and other weapons. Last week, the Russian Unmanned Rapid Response Squad – a unit specializing in using first-person view (FPV) kamikaze drones – published videos showing their unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) destroying three Leopard tanks in just two days.

Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, Kirill Budanov, said last week that Kiev’s troops were conducting their operations on foot while the use of heavy armor was “minimal.” According to earlier reports in the Western media, the Ukrainian military had to change its tactics following heavy equipment losses over the first weeks of the counteroffensive.

This week, Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, told The Economist that the warring sides had “reached the level of technology that puts us into a stalemate.” He also said that such a situation puts Russia in a better position due to its larger population and resources.