Germany to send armoured transport vehicles to Ukraine — but not battle tanks

The defence ministry in Berlin says its latest consignment will include two more Mars II rocket launchers and 50 Dingo armoured transport vehicles

German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said her country is also sending 200 missiles to Ukraine. Getty
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Germany will send armoured transport vehicles to Ukraine, but not battle tanks, as the wrangling over its military contributions continues.

The country's defence ministry said its latest consignment would include two more Mars II rocket launchers and 50 Dingo armoured transport vehicles.

Germany is also sending 200 missiles, Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said.

Soviet-made BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles will “very quickly” head to Ukraine, from Greece, as a deal with Berlin to replenish Athens' stocks with the more modern Marder armoured vehicles is close, Ms Lambrecht said.

Ukraine has repeatedly asked for the German-made Marders and Leopard tanks. But neither is included in the list of the latest armaments pledged by Germany.

Berlin has argued that it will not “go it alone” on weapons deliveries, and Ms Lambrecht has pointed out that no other ally has transferred western-made battle tanks to Ukraine.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been under pressure in recent days to supply more heavy weapons to help Kyiv continue its counter-attacks against Russia.

It has frequently been accused of moving too slowly in providing weapons to Ukraine, which has sometimes gone public over its frustration at Berlin.

On Thursday, Mr Scholz again defended Germany's support for Ukraine.

“We are helping … because their fight is a fight that we are supporting,” he said in a speech, listing ways that Berlin had assisted Ukraine, from supplying armaments to training troops.

“We have delivered more and more weapons. Weapons deliveries from us — but also from our allies — have contributed to things turning out differently to how the Russian president planned.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has criticised Germany's reluctance to send tanks, saying there was “not a single rational argument on why these weapons cannot be supplied”.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has called for a speedy decision on deliveries of the Leopard tanks sought by Kyiv.

Ukraine has taken back 9,000 square kilometres of territory from the Russians since the start of the month.

However, it has said it will be hard to maintain the pace of the advance because Russian forces are now fortifying defences.

The speed of the advance has bolstered Ukrainian morale and given it some success to show its western allies as it seeks more weapons to sustain its defence.

In Washington, US President Joe Biden announced a new $600 million arms package to help Ukraine, including high mobility artillery rocket systems and artillery rounds.

The US has sent about $15.1 billion dollars in security assistance to Kyiv since Russia's invasion began in February.

On Thursday, it emerged a mass grave had been uncovered by authorities in Izium, which it recaptured from Russian forces days ago.

Officials say there are 440 bodies at the forest site in the north-eastern town of Izium, where thousands of Russian troops fled last weekend after occupying the city for several months.

Updated: September 16, 2022, 9:10 AM