Ukrainian politician chides Germany’s indecision

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Jan. 22 (UPI) — Ukrainian defense leaders believe Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks can turn the tide of the war with Russia and help usher in its end, but Berlin is hesitant to provide.

On Saturday, Ukraine‘s presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said Ukraine cannot afford to wait on the decisions of its allies. Russia is expected to have as many as 150,000 new soldiers ready to enter the fray this spring after its draft last fall.

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“Afterword to global indecision…You’ll help Ukraine with the necessary weapons anyway and realize that there is no other option to end the war except the defeat of [Russia],” Podolyak tweeted.

“But today’s indecision is killing more of our people. Every day of delay is the death of Ukrainians. Think faster.”

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With more advanced weaponry making its way to Ukraine, training moves to the forefront of the nation’s fight to repel the Russian invasion.

Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine’s minister of defense, met with allies at Ramstein Air Base on Friday to discuss additional support, including a fresh supply of munitions, heavy equipment and air defense systems.

During the meeting, Reznikov continued Ukraine’s pursuit of additional heavy tanks. Ukraine has been attempting to hold its ground with Soviet-era T-72 tanks which are outclassed by modern machines like the Leopard 2 or the American M1 Abrams tanks.

Podolyak told CNN that 300 to 400 Leopard 2s would outperform up to 3,000 T-72s.

Yet Boris Postorius, defense minister for Germany, has not made a final decision on sending the Leopard 2 to the battlefield, according to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III. BBC reports about 2,000 of the tanks remain in warehouses throughout Europe.

“I don’t have any announcements to make on M1s, and you heard the — the German minister of defense say that they’ve not made a decision on Leopards,” Austin said.

Austin detailed the armament the United States is prepared to provide as part of a $2.5 billion package. It includes 59 additional Bradley fighting vehicles, 90 Stryker armored personnel carriers, 53 mine resistant ambush protected vehicles and 350 armored humvees.

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“Now, as we saw again just days ago in Dnipro, Russia continues its assault on Ukraine’s civilian and critical infrastructure, and Russia continues to bombard Ukraine’s cities with cruise missiles and drones,” Austin said.

“But the Ukrainian people stand defiant and strong, and Ukrainian troops are bravely defending their country and their fellow citizens.”

Meanwhile 100 Ukrainian troops are being trained on the U.S. Patriot air defense system at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. Training will take several months before the soldiers are capable of operating the battery in the field.

The United States pledged to supply the air defense system and training to Ukraine during President Volodymyr Zelensky‘s visit to Washington in December.

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President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine receives a U.S. flag from Vice President Kamala Harris (L) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (R) after addressing a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI | License Photo