Tanks, Tanks and More Tanks,
Jan. 25, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced his decision on sending the tanks to Ukraine in the Bundestag today. Together with our allies we will send two tank battalions, Scholz said, and training on the systems should take place in Germany. “It is right that we never provide these weapons systems alone, but always in coordination,” Scholz added.
Scholz’s statements confirm previous leaks on the number of Leopard 2 tanks that Germany will send. If the “allies” are sending two battalions altogether: since one German battalion has 44 Leopard 2 tanks, and the U.S. is sending one Abrams battalion (you cannot have a battalion of mixed tanks), then Europeans will fill the remaining battalion. Scholz did not give any number, but previous reports spoke about 14 German tanks, with the rest to come from Poland and other European countries.
Scholz started his speech in the Bundestag by boasting that Germany had brilliantly avoided an energy crisis in the conflict with Russia and that “When it comes to supporting Ukraine, we are the country that does it with great energy and on a large scale.”
What comes next, after the battle tanks, asked an MP. Fighter jets and ground troops would never be sent to Ukraine, Scholz answered. He and U.S. President Biden made that clear months ago and that would remain the case.
The head of Die Linke faction, Dietmar Bartsch, had attacked the government’s decision already on Jan. 24. “The delivery of Leopard main battle tanks, which violates another taboo, is bringing us closer to the Third World War, not to peace in Europe,” he told the DPA news agency. He added that the decision was a “prelude” to a possible “disaster.”
Die Linke’s Sahra Wagenknecht, the most popular opposition figure, tweeted that the government “wants now to supply German Leopards as part of a tank coalition for tank battles around the Donbass and Crimea. Against this madness, which can end in a disaster, we need a big coalition of all forces of reason!”
She also pointed to the “expected” reaction from Kiev. Former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, and current Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk, “who loves Bandera,” now “wants fighter jets.” Indeed, Melnyk had tweeted: “And now, dear allies, let’s put together a strong fighter jet coalition for Ukraine, with F-16s and F-35s, Eurofighters and Tornados, Rafale and Gripen jets—and anything else you can deliver to Ukraine.”