Kiev confirms arrival of heavy weapons from Germany — Analysis
‘Gepard’ anti-aircraft systems and ammunition have been delivered to Ukraine, the country’s defense minister says
Ukraine has received its first shipment of German ‘Gepard’ anti-aircraft systems, as well as thousands of rounds of suitable ammunition, according to a statement made by Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov on Monday.
“We are waiting for the first 15 Gepards. They arrived today in Ukraine. They are already at the disposal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Reznikov said on national television. “These are anti-aircraft systems, for which tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition have been transferred to us.”
Germany had previously promised to deliver at least 30 ‘Gepard’ air-defense tanks to Ukraine. According to the latest estimates, 15 tanks have already been delivered to Ukraine. The next 15 will be shipped in August.
Monday’s delivery marks the second time Germany has handed over heavy weapons to Ukraine after it transferred seven Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000 self-propelled armored howitzers along with other military hardware back in mid-June.
Berlin provided the Ukrainian Armed Forces in total with Panzerfaust 3, man-portable anti tank rocket launchers for 3,900, 14,900, anti-tank mines and 500 US-designed Stingers. There are also 2,700 Soviet designed Strela anti aircraft missiles man-portable. 100 MG3 machine gun, 50 launcher-busting bunker-busting rockets, 21.8M rounds of ammunition, 100,000 hand grenades, and 50 MG3 machine guns were also delivered.
Despite Berlin consistently providing Kiev with assorted weaponry since the beginning of Russia’s military operation in February, however, some Ukrainian officials have continued to criticize the German government for lagging behind the US and the UK in terms of arms deliveries.
Meanwhile, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has insisted that Berlin can’t “give away much more,”And that Kiev wouldn’t send weapons to Ukraine at the expense its own defence capabilities.
Russia warned West to avoid sending weapons into Kiev. They claimed that this would only extend the conflict, cause more casualties and have lasting consequences.
Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. In 2014, the protocols were signed for the first time, with France and Germany as mediators. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
The Kremlin recognised the Donbass republics in February 2022 as independent states. It demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral and not join any Western military bloc. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked.
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