BERLIN, March 27 (Reuters) – 18 Leopard 2 battle tanks that Germany promised to support Ukraine in its war against Russia have arrived in Ukraine, the German Defense Ministry said on Monday.
Germany agreed in January to hand over the tanks, considered among the best in the West’s arsenal, overcoming misgivings about sending heavy weapons that Kyiv says are essential to defeating Russian aggression. but Moscow poses as a dangerous provocation.
“I am sure they will make a decisive contribution at the front,” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in a tweet.
Besides the 18 tanks, 40 German Marder infantry fighting vehicles, and two armored recovery vehicles have also arrived in Ukraine, a security source said.
The German army trained Ukrainian tank crews as well as troops assigned to operate the Marder vehicles for several weeks in Muenster and Bergen in northern Germany.
As well as the German vehicles, three Leopard tanks donated by Portugal have also arrived in Ukraine, the security source said.
Reporting by Sabine Siebold and Rachel More; Writing by Maria Martinez; Editing by Friederike Heine, Tomasz Janowski and Alison Williams
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