Several European states will supply over 100 tanks Leopard 1A5 to Ukraine, committed to repelling the Russian invasion. This was stated by the German Defense Minister, Boris Pistorius, from Kiev where he arrived on a visit kept secret for security reasons. In the capital of the former Soviet republic, Pistorius met the country's president and defense minister, Volodymyr Zelensky and Oleksii Reznikov, who greeted him as a "friend of Ukraine". As reported by the newspaper "Bild", the German defense minister will also have an interview with the Ukrainian personnel who will be trained in Germany to use the Leopards. For Pistorius, by the first or second quarter of 2024, at least three battalions of Leopard 1A5s should be equipped to be transferred to the country attacked by Russia.
Earlier, the weekly "Der Spiegel" had revealed that the federal government has approved the supply to Ukraine of 178 Leopard 1s, coming from the depots of the German defense industry. In particular, these are 90 specimens from the Flensburg Vehicle Manufacturing Society (ffg) and 88 from the Rheinmetall conglomerate. Both companies have started work on modernizing the tanks for their use in combat. The first tanks should be delivered to the Ukrainian armed forces "ideally next summer". Most of the vehicles will arrive in the former Soviet republic in 2024. Previously, Germany had announced the transfer to the country attacked by Russia of 14 Leopard 2A6s, coming from the 203rd armored battalion of its army. Furthermore, the German executive had authorized the other states that have Leopard 2s to supply them to Ukraine. The goal is to equip the Ukrainian forces with a battalion of 61 of these tanks.
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