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Ukraine War Updates: Berlin Won’t Block Poland From Sending German-Made Leopard Tanks To Kyiv

Ukraine War Updates: Berlin Won’t Block Poland From Sending German-Made Leopard Tanks To Kyiv

UK’s Daily Telegraph: “Officials in Kyiv have suggested there are already 12 countries willing to donate as many as 100 Leopards from their stocks if granted permission by Berlin.”

After dodging European diplomatic pressure for months, Berlin has decided not to block the delivery of German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Germany, which has so far declined to supply battle tanks directly to Kyiv, will finally allow Poland — and perhaps other European countries  — to send Leopard tanks from their inventory.

“German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Berlin would not stand in the way if Poland decides to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine,” Germany’s state-run DW TV reported Tuesday.

Following the German foreign minister’s statement, Poland formally requested to re-export Leopard to Ukraine. “Polish defense minister has officially requested Berlin for permission to transfer Leopard tanks to Ukraine. The [German] government wants to decide quickly on an export license,” German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported Tuesday.

Previously, the Polish government declared that it would send German-made tanks to Ukraine “regardless” of Berlin’s position.

Though German-made Leopard tanks sold to Poland and other NATO nations are the property of their respective armed forces, these countries are contractually bound not to re-export them to a third party. “All German-built weapons of war come with an end use certificate that means their new owner needs Berlin’s approval if it wants to pass on that weapon to another country,” the French TV channel Euronews reported Tuesday.

If the Polish request is approved, German-made tanks will face Russian tanks for the first time on the battlefield since the end of World War II.

DW TV reported the change in Germany’s stance:

Germany would not stand in the way if Poland sent its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Sunday in an interview with French television LCI.

If Poland were to go ahead and sent its Leopard 2 tanks without German approval, Baerbock said, “If we were asked we would not stand in the way.”

“We know how important these tanks are and this is why we are discussing this now with our partners,” the German foreign minister added. “We need to make sure people’s lives are saved and Ukraine’s territory liberated.” (…)

Germany has been under considerable pressure both to deliver Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine and to allow other countries to send their German-made tanks to Ukrainian forces. But Berlin has been hesitant to send the highly advanced, Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine out of concern it could lead to a widening of the Russian war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, German news reports suggest that steps are underway in Berlin to send Leopard from German military stock over to Ukraine. “Newly appointed German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on Tuesday that he is expecting a decision imminently on the delivery of Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine,” German news agency DPA reported Tuesday. “He encouraged partner countries that have operational Leopard tanks to already start training Ukrainian forces on using these tanks.”

While many in the media are celebrating the entry of the German-made battle tank as a possible “game changer,” it needs to be seen if the handful of them will make a difference along the 600-mile frontline. “Officials in Kyiv have suggested there are already 12 countries willing to donate as many as 100 Leopards from their stocks if granted permission by Berlin,” the UK daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.

Ukraine Gears Up For Major Russian Offensive

The move to replenish Ukrainian defenders with a fresh supply of battle tanks and armored vehicles comes amid fear of a major Russian offensive in the coming weeks.

Russia is redeploying forces for a big offensive, official Ukrainian sources claim. “Russian forces are gearing up to launch a “big offensive” in early spring, according to Ukrainian intelligence assessments,” Sky News (UK) reported Tuesday. “The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) believes troops are regrouping in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, reports the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).”

Meanwhile, Russia maintains pressure in the east of Ukraine, capturing the area around the strategic town of Bakhmut and increasing troop strength along the frontline.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged the amassing of Russian forces in the country’s east and south. The France24 TV channel reported Monday:

Russian “shelling and attacks are occurring round the clock”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday in his nightly video message.

“But the battle for Donbas goes on. And the battle for the south goes on. We see how Russia is massing its forces and we know how to respond.”


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Maybe Germany can launch a surprise invasion of Russia called:

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, Barbarossa II!”

What was the plan if the Soviets attacked through the Fulda Gap with overwhelming force…. nukes. What could be the plan if Ukraine (NATO) is unrelenting in its push against Russian forces? Sauce meet gander. Even a dirty bomb or chemical barrier for denial of access just flips the switch. What if the Russians do touch off a tactical in Ukraine? Is NATO/EU/USA ready to go MAD?

Alexander Scipio | January 24, 2023 at 1:35 pm

It seems that the American Military Industrial Complex has been able to convince Europeans that the only way they’re going to get any new tanks for their armies is to buy American tanks. (You can’t run a steel mill with a windmill…) Germans, wanting new tanks, natch, are going to OK sending their current tanks to the Eastern Front to be made into scrap. And the American military industrial complex that owns congress will get to open an entirely new tank market, enriching themselves and the politicians they own.

None of this will matter in the end, as Russia will not allow itself to be defeated, regardless of the cost. The American administration still, for reasons unknown, basks in the glow of a long-ago war fought by their grandfathers while pretending the world hasn’t changed, and that Russia can be beaten. They might want to ask Napoleon and Adolf about that. A country that lost 20M defeating Adolf is not about to be beaten by Adolf’s stepchild.

All part of the plan, of course, to make europe totally dependent on American heavy manufacturing and weaponry – just another colony, kinda what it’s been since WW2, lazing around on welfare paid for by off-setting their defense expenditures to the American taxpayer.

The not so secret truth is that GER doesn’t want war with Russia. In fact they depend upon amicable relations with Russia. Their industrial base will collapse without cheap, reliable Russian energy. GER is an export economy and has largely avoided the sort of hollowed out manufacturing regions that the USA endured under globalisation.

Without access to cheap, reliable energy the companies in Germany will have to find a way to be competitive. That will mean moving manufacturing overseas to get closer to the sources of energy and take advantage of cheaper labor costs. Workers in western European nations, particularly Germany, have been largely immune to the impacts of globalisation. When or if the day comes that off shoring occurs that is going to change as will the average European attitude towards globalisation.

    alaskabob in reply to CommoChief. | January 24, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    Their industrial base is collapsing. BASF is about to shut down their main mega-plant as it runs on natural gas…. plan is to move outside of Germany. Globalization is also waning. Easy times are gone…. didn’t have to happen…. 2019 was a far better world intentionally destroyed.

      CommoChief in reply to alaskabob. | January 25, 2023 at 10:08 am

      Indeed. The industrial dominos are beginning to topple. Their manufacturing base will, like that of the USA, move offshore. A whole host of societal problems accompany that. Nothing like a German population riled up over economic hardship and a belief their leaders have betrayed them…nope nothing to worry about.

After USSR disbanded, NATO should have closed down because the soviet threat disappeared.

The USA should have stayed out of this eastern Europeon dispute.

I vaguely remember the Leopard 2 tank being so maintenance-dependent that at one time Germany was down to a few dozen not in the shop. Russian equipment is many things, but fragile is not one of them. It will be interesting to see if Ukraine can keep any of them in the field.

So expecting that Poland won’t see any of the 21st Century Lend-Lease equipment again, I presume they’ll be in the market for replacement hardware as the US is shifting from M1A2 to M1A3. Supposing that we can pull and refurb hulls from the 2,300 we have in storage up to M1A3 standards while shipping the older M1A2 units to Poland, that could be a nice bonus for US workers.

BierceAmbrose | January 24, 2023 at 3:19 pm

In the context of organizing en mass to kill people en mass (or survive an incoming genocide, en mass), IP rights and contracts seem like niceties.

What do casualties, relocations and refugees in six-figures mean if we’re looking for re-export licenses?

Here is a thorough piece on tanks and Ukraine:

People shamelessly blaming NATO for this latest example of Russian irridentism. 300+ years of it. Because it’s politically expedient to do so.

Recent examples of Rus irridentism:

Russia carving Transnistra out of Moldova.

Russia carving South Ossetia from Georgia-Armenia.

Russia carving Crimea from Ukraine.

Russia wanting to carve all of Ukraine east of the Dnieper.

Russia now occupies the Syrian Mediterranean port for supporting Assad – recall Republican John McCain opposing this by backing the Syrian Free Army.

This isn’t about Putin. Putin just happens to be the latest in a very long line of autocratic Russian leaders.

Dismiss history at your peril.

    alaskabob in reply to Tiki. | January 24, 2023 at 5:24 pm

    Not done in a vacuum .. these were Russian tits for Western tats. Every Western move amped Russia’s paranoia. There was a short window for the US and Russia to have reproachment. Unlike what Lincoln wanted after the Civil War and what was done with the Marshall Plan… this was rubbing the Russian’s nose in the Cold War victory.

      FrankJNatoli in reply to alaskabob. | January 24, 2023 at 7:36 pm

      Nothing you write justifies Russian aggressive war.
      You know, like the Czechs oppressed the Sudetens, and the Poles oppressed the Danzig residents, and of course the Jews forced everything.

        CommoChief in reply to FrankJNatoli. | January 25, 2023 at 10:16 am

        Obviously the Russians disagree and their opinion is that one that matters. The Western Nations knew they were pushing buttons and did it deliberately as if their view that ‘the Russians will not or should not’ react militarily to deliberate provocation was some eternal and immutable truth.

        Your opponent always gets a vote and the leadership in the West has had that universal truth stuck up where the sun don’t shine b/c of their arrogant overconfidence in their theories.

“Widening of the Russian War in Ukraine”
Only in Socialist speak is a country defending itself “widening” a war.

I read somewhere that Germany has like 10 Nato tanks that actually work since they need maintenance and don’t have parts. I am guessing that the Polish tanks are just as in bad shape. I guess the 800 B might help with that.

What a goat rope.