Ukraine updates: Germany poised for answer on battle tanks – DW – 01

Ukraine updates: Germany poised for answer on battle tanks – DW – 01

Updated: 5 days, 18 hours, 22 minutes, 8 seconds ago

If Germany gives approval, several countries could begin delivering their Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine. DW has the latest.

Berlin is expected to announce an official decision on the export of German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks to Kyiv. The German government has already encouraged allies to start training Ukrainian forces on how to operate the tanks. 

In recent weeks, Western nations promised to deliver more military aid to support Ukraine against Russia's invasion. Poland especially has been putting pressure on Germany to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine. 

German media, including newspaper Der Spiegel and news channel NTV, reported on Tuesday that Chancellor Olaf Scholz would grant approval to the export. The decision is expected to come Wednesday and could entail approval for several countries such as Poland to deliver their Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the media outlets reported. 

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said he had "expressly encouraged partner countries that have Leopard tanks that are ready for deployment to train Ukrainian forces on these tanks".

"I expect a decision to be made shortly," he added, following talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Berlin. "We must provide heavier and more advanced systems to Ukraine, and we must do it faster."

In recent weeks, Ukraine and several of its allies have been urging Germany to approve the release of the Leopards, but a US-led meeting in Germany last week failed to come to a conclusion.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned the delivery of the Leopard tanks would "bring nothing good to the future relationship" between Berlin and Moscow. "They will leave a lasting mark," he said. 

What makes the Leopard 2 the battle tank of choice?

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Here are other updates on the war in Ukraine on Wednesday, January 25:

Norway considers sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine — reports 

The Norwegian government is exploring the option of sending several of its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, Oslo-based newspapers Aftenposten and Dagens Naeringsliv reported late on Tuesday.

According to both of the papers, no final decision on sending the heavy battle tanks has yet been made. 

Norway, which borders Russia and is a member state of NATO, could contribute either four or eight of the country's 36 Leopard 2 tanks, Dagens Naeringsliv reported. 

USA could contribute Abrams M1 tanks to Ukraine — reports 

According to US officials cited in the Wall Street Journal, Washington is considering sending a significant amount of Abrams M1 tanks to Ukraine. Russia's ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antoniv, warned that such a move would be seen as "the real aggressor in the current conflict". 

"If the United States decides to supply tanks, it will be impossible to justify such a step using arguments about 'defensive weapons'," he said in a post on the Russian Embassy's official Facebook page. 

"This would be another blatant provocation against the Russian Federation." 

Russian frigate tested strike capabilities in Atlantic

The Russian Defence Ministry said frigate Admiral Gorshkov tested strike capabilities in the western Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday. 

The ministry shared a statement that said the frigate had conducted a computer simulation on hypersonic Zircon missiles. Zircon missiles usually have a range of 900 km. They are able to travel at several times the speed of sound. Defending against them is difficult. The statement did not say the frigate had launched such a missile.

More DW coverage on the war in Ukraine

The head of the Ukrainian Red Cross has told DW that Russian land mines are spread across "significant areas" of the country. He said the mines pose a threat to civilians, humanitarian work and reconstruction efforts. 

The Ukrainian city of Bakhmut once had a population of 73,000. Around 8,000 people are still holding out there, despite offers to evacuate them. Why do they stay? Alexandra Induchova reports from Bakhmut.

A group of scientists and security experts have moved their "Doomsday Clock" to 90 seconds to midnight, their most pessimistic prognosis yet. They published their statement in Russian and Ukrainian for the first time. 

los/kb (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)