Day 331: Pressure Heaped on Germany to Provide Tanks to Kyiv

Germany faced mounting pressure to commit its coveted Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine as US Sec. of Defense Lloyd Austin hosted Western defense ministers at America's Ramstein air base in southwest Germany on Friday.

Day 331: Pressure Heaped on Germany to Provide Tanks to Kyiv
Image credit: AP Photos [via AP News]

Facts

  • Germany faced mounting pressure to commit its coveted Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine as US Sec. of Defense Lloyd Austin hosted Western defense ministers at America's Ramstein air base in southwest Germany on Friday. German defense minister Boris Pistorius — who met his US counterpart Austin on his first day in office — has told German broadcaster ARD he is, "pretty sure we will get a decision on this in the coming days."
  • Ahead of the meeting, Ukrainian Pres. Voldymyr Zelenskyy singled out Germany for its hesistance to provide the tanks or allow willing countries to re-export them. "Now we are waiting for a decision from one European capital that will activate the prepared chains of cooperation on tanks," he said, adding that he expected "powerful decisions" to be made at the Ramstein meeting.
  • Following Zelenskyy's address, the Biden administration confirmed a $2.5B military aid package that included 90 Stryker armored vehicles and 59 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles — as well 350 Humvees, 53 mine-resistant vehicles and a number of air defense systems — but excluded any US M1 Abrams tanks.
  • Addressing the Ramstein meeting on Friday, Austin said: "Russia is regrouping, recruiting, and trying to re-equip. This is not a moment to slow down. It's a time to dig deeper. The Ukrainian people are watching us," he said, without making specific reference to tanks.
  • Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki further added pressure on Thursday by stating that "consent was of secondary importance" when it came to his country's re-exporting of German-made tanks. "We will either obtain this consent quickly, or we will do it ourselves," he said.
  • Meanwhile, in his daily call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described Russia-US relations as: "Probably at their lowest point ever, unfortunately." Russia's ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, said that the US policy of aiming to ensure the strategic defeat of Russia is leading the world to a catastrophe. He also called for a change to be made.
  • On the ground, officials from the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said they had taken control of Klishchiivka, a small settlement six miles (9 km) south of Bakhmut — the hotbed of months of fighting in the region. Ukrainian officials reported that four civilians were killed and three were injured in Russian attacks on Donetsk. One civilian was also reported killed and three more were injured in Kherson. Meanwhile, DPR officials reported that two civilians were killed in Ukrainian attacks on Donetsk.

Sources: Associated Press, President of Ukraine, ABC, MSN, Guardian, and TASS.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Guardian. These meetings must see Germany — which has a unique historical responsibility to uphold the sovereignty and freedom of Ukraine — consent to the use of Leopard 2 tanks by Kyiv. Ukrainians were some of the greatest victims of Hitler and Stalin, and Berlin now has the opportunity to intercede on Putin's war of terror against an innocent people. The whole of the West will judge the courage of Germany on whether it allows tanks to be sent to Kyiv.
  • Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by TASS. By sending more and more advanced weaponry to Ukraine, America's policy of seeking the strategic defeat of Russia is leading the world to a catastrophe. The US and NATO are increasingly intertwined in this conflict and if this policy continues, we'll be headed for nuclear Armageddon. Is this the path we should be taking?

Predictions