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Germany to announce shipment of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine amid anticipated Russian offensive

The White House is reportedly also looking to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

Published: January 24, 2023 3:48pm

Updated: January 24, 2023 4:32pm

German Chancellor Olaf Schulz is preparing to announce that Berlin will send a group of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and permit its allies to re-export them to Kyiv as well.

The German-manufactured tanks require permission from the government for their foreign purchasers to re-export them, according to Politico. The German government had long resisted authorizing such a move, indicating it would only do so if the U.S. committed to supplying Ukraine with its M1 Abrams tanks.

Citing "officials with knowledge of the matter," the outlet also reported that Schulz would announce both the German supply of tanks to Ukraine and authorize the re-export of Leopard 2s in an address on Wednesday. German outlet Der Spiegel indicated that Berlin was preparing to send at least one company of tanks. A company is traditionally 14.

The White House is reportedly also looking to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine, per Politico.

Ukraine had been negotiating with Western nations for the delivery of heavy armor ahead of an anticipated Russian offensive that many expect to come in the near future. Fighting has been intense around the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut for months and Russian forces there appear to be on the brink of victory following their capture of Soledar to the north.

Both Ukrainian and Russian forces have largely relied on Soviet era tanks throughout the conflict, though Russia also has access to more advanced, modern models such as the T-90, which have seen service in the conflict.

It remains unclear how many Leopard 2s may ultimately reach Ukraine as does their potential impact.

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