Berlin announced plans on Wednesday to send German-made Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine after weeks of international pressure. Germany will send 14 tanks from its own military supplies and begin training Ukrainian troops on German territory, the government said, adding it would also “issue appropriate transfer permits”, allowing other European countries to re-spatch their Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine can export.
The decision came as the Biden administration also announced it would supply 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, despite earlier concerns that they might require too much training and maintenance for the Ukrainian armed forces.
“To liberate their country, they must be able to counter Russia’s evolving tactics and strategy on the battlefield at very short notice,” President Biden said of the Ukrainians in remarks at the White House.
In his evening speech on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for the Leopard tanks and Biden for the Abrams tanks. “The most important thing right now is speed and volume,” said Zelensky. “The speed of training of our army; the speed with which tanks are delivered to Ukraine; the volume of tank support.”
On the battlefield, a Ukrainian military chief confirmed to The Washington Post that his troops had withdrawn from the eastern city of Soledar. Russia’s capture of the small salt mining town in the eastern Donetsk region marks the first major territorial gain since July.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects around the world.
4. From our correspondents
These Russians, who dodge calls to Ukraine, live in an airport in Seoul: The Russian men now have inside jokes with the South Korean staff they see every day at 6pm at the Burger King in Terminal 1. They spend their days walking around, smoking cigarettes or learning Korean. They wash their clothes with bathroom soap. For these five men who fled Russia to avoid conscription in the war against Ukraine, Incheon International Airport has been their temporary home for the past three months, reports The Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee.
They arrived at the airport about 32 miles west of Seoul in October and November to seek asylum. But South Korea, which has a low percentage of refugees, deemed them unfit to even apply and rejected their applications. The men appealed the decision and three of them will hear on Tuesday whether their appeal will be honored.
John Hudson, Vanessa Guinan Bank, Rick Noack, Robyn Dixon, Emily Rauhala, Natalia Abbakumova and Amar Nadhir contributed to this report.