Ukraine has said that “global indecisiveness” “killed more of our people” after Germany stalled on the decision to supply Ukraine with Leopard tanks to bolster Kiev’s fighting capability against Russia.
“Today’s indecision is killing more of our people,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
“Every day of delay is the death of Ukrainians. Think faster,” he said.
Some 50 countries agreed on Friday to supply Ukraine with billions of dollars worth of military equipment, including armored vehicles and ammunition, to help Kiev fight back against invading Russian forces.
Germany is under great pressure to supply the tanks, but after the meeting, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said: “We still cannot say when a decision will be made and what the decision will be when it comes to the Leopard -tank. ”
Afterword of global indecision…
You help Ukraine anyway with the necessary weapons and realize that there is no other option to end the war than the defeat of 🇷🇺
But today’s indecision is killing more of our people. Every day of delay is the death of Ukrainians. Think faster
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) January 21, 2023
Ukraine calls for German-made Leopard 2 tanks. Several allies echoed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in saying that the tanks were essential to Ukraine’s struggle with its much larger neighbor.
On Saturday, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics tweeted a joint statement from the foreign ministers of the three Baltic states urging Germany to “supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine now”.
“This is necessary to stop Russian aggression, help Ukraine and quickly restore peace in Europe,” Rinkevics posted on Twitter.
“Germany, as the leading European power, has a special responsibility in this regard.”
We foreign ministers call on Germany to deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine now. This is necessary to stop Russian aggression, help Ukraine and quickly restore peace in Europe. Germany, as the leading European power, has a special responsibility in this regard.
— Edgars Rinkēvics (@edgarsrinkevics) January 21, 2023
Meanwhile, in Berlin, hundreds of people demonstrated outside the Federal Chancellery building, urging Germany to send tanks to Ukraine.
Germany has been cautious about sending tanks or allowing other countries to supply German-made tanks to Ukraine.
According to reports earlier this week, Germany would agree to send Leopard 2 only if the United States did too. However, Washington has indicated that it did not believe that supplying its Abrams tanks would be useful due to difficulties in training and maintenance.
On Friday, about 50 US-led countries gathered at Ramstein Air Base in Germany for the Ukraine contact group meeting. Prior to the meeting, there was an expectation that Germany would at least agree to allow other countries using Leopards to hand them over to Kiev’s army.
US Senator Lindsey Graham called on both countries to supply the machines during a visit to Kiev.
“To the Germans: send tanks to Ukraine because they need them. It is in your own national interest that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin loses in Ukraine.”
“To the [US President Joe] Biden administration: send US tanks so that others will follow our lead,” he said.
The top US general underlined the significant amount of equipment Ukraine had pledged in Ramstein, including armored vehicles, artillery and the large-scale training of its forces by allies.
“I think it is entirely possible for the Ukrainians to launch a major tactical or even operational offensive operation to liberate as much Ukrainian territory as possible,” said US Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley.
But the Kremlin said on Friday that Western tanks would make little difference on the battlefield.
“One should not exaggerate the importance of such supplies in terms of their ability to change something,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Russia’s offensive on Zaporizhia
The criticism came as Russia said it has launched an offensive in Ukraine’s Zaporizhia region after several months of a near-frozen frontline.
Moscow’s troops said they had conducted “offensive operations” in the region and claimed to have “occupied more advantageous lines and positions,” according to the daily report of the Russian Defense Ministry.
Russia said it had also conducted an exercise on repelling airstrikes in the Moscow region, using an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system.
Ukraine’s defense ministry reported 26 airstrikes and 15 attacks by multi-launch missile systems on Saturday.
“The enemy is not abandoning its aggressive plans and is mainly focusing on attempts to completely occupy the Donetsk region,” it said on Ukraine’s border with Russia.