Germany did not send promised heavy weapons to Ukraine, leaked documents show


Germany has not supplied heavy weapons to Ukrainian forces in recent weeks and appears to be reducing its military support in a departure from Western policy, leaked documents have revealed.

German newspaper Welt said it had seen official documents showing that Germany had not supplied Ukraine with significant weapons since late March, despite promising to give its forces the weapons they needed. need to repel the Russian army.

In the nine weeks since the end of March, Germany has made only two small arms deliveries to Ukraine.

Unlike Western allies who send huge amounts of anti-tank and air defense weapons such as NLAW launchers, as well as artillery, Germany provided around 4,600 anti-tank mines.

It also delivered other small military equipment such as spare parts, detonating cords, radios, hand grenades and explosive charges, but did not supply the heavy weapons and artillery that the Ukrainian government frequently requested.

Safety relevant and classified

The German government has not confirmed the report, telling Welt that “information on specific arms deliveries is security-relevant and classified…[we] cannot provide more detailed information or confirm details”.

Germany approved a delivery of heavy weapons, including tanks, in late April after weeks of hesitation, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz initially saying he preferred to act in agreement with NATO allies. He also justified his reluctance by saying he was seeking to avoid the risk of nuclear war.

In a recent speech, Mr Scholz said “Ich bin nicht Kaiser Wilhelm”, referring to the last German emperor who rushed into World War I.

The failure to deliver heavy weapons contrasts sharply with the German leader’s rhetoric in recent weeks, with Scholz saying on Thursday that his country has an unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s defence.

“Putin will only seriously negotiate peace if he realizes that he cannot break through Ukraine’s defenses. That’s why we support Ukraine,” Scholz said at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

He said any delivery of heavy weapons would be “closely coordinated with our partners and allies”.

Germany’s allies – including several NATO members – have continued to supply Ukraine with light and heavy weapons.

A spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Forces said on Saturday that it had received missiles and self-propelled howitzers from Denmark and the United States in recent days.

Mr. Scholz has been criticized at home and abroad for failing to provide full support to Ukraine. German opposition leader Friedrich Merz visited Ukraine in early May, saying Mr Scholz’s policy of appeasement was weak and insecure.

“The Chancellor answered all the questions no one asked, and he didn’t answer any of the questions we asked him,” Merz said at the time.

On Saturday, Polish President Andrzej Duda criticized Germany for its lack of military support despite promises to resupply the Polish army.

“If we were supported by our German allies with tanks to replace those we gave to Ukraine, we would be very grateful,” he said.

“We had such a promise. We hear that Germany is not ready to fill [it].”

Train forces on tanks

Germany promised 30 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine in April, which have not been delivered.

In mid-May, Scholz said the tanks had not yet been delivered because they “needed to be prepared”. However, Ukrainian military sources said the real reason for the delay was to train Ukrainian forces on tanks, which they are unfamiliar with.

A source told Welt that the training of the first 45 soldiers will only start on June 13 and end on July 22. As a result, half of the tanks will be delivered at the end of July, the other half at the end of August. .

German government and military officials are due to meet in Berlin on Sunday evening to discuss how to spend the one-time injection of 100 billion euros from Mr Scholz’s military budget, which will see Germany meet the spending target 2% NATO military.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the funds would modernize the military and also provide defense against cyber warfare.

Mr Habeck said on Sunday that the new funds would ensure “that the Bundeswehr (Germany’s military) receives as many new weapons and functional equipment as possible and that funding for necessary security-related systems is not excluded”.


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