During a visit to Lithuania, Chancellor Olaf Scholz defended Germany’s position on arms deliveries to Ukraine. Germany is one of the country’s “most important military supporters”, said the SPD politician during the visit to the NATO partner in the Baltic States on Tuesday.
When asked by a journalist that there was the impression that the Federal Republic was acting hesitantly when it came to supplying arms to Kyiv, Scholz replied: “Nobody is supplying as much as Germany is doing.”
Is that really true? The fact check.
An evaluation by the Institute for the World Economy (IfW) puts Germany in fifth place for military aid to Ukraine in the war against Russia. Far behind in first place is the USA, followed by Great Britain, Poland and the European Union. However, the evaluation is almost a month old.
Since then, Germany has promised further help: But what military equipment and weapon systems is Germany supplying to Ukraine and to what extent? And what has really arrived so far?
The federal government is reluctant to make clear statements about delivery quantities and dates, so it is difficult to provide precise information. Only recently, the Ministry of Economics put the military aid for Ukraine at at least 191.9 million euros. The list can therefore only serve as a guide:
Shortly after the beginning of the Russian war of aggression, the Ukrainian armed forces received 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 surface-to-air missiles of the “Stinger” type from Bundeswehr stocks. At the beginning of March, the federal government also announced the delivery of 2,700 “Strela” anti-aircraft missiles from the stocks of the National People’s Army of the GDR.
At the beginning of May, the German government delivered 2,450 RGW 90 Matador anti-tank weapons and a total of 4,600 DM22 and DM31 anti-tank mines to Ukraine, reports Der Spiegel. Ukraine bought another 5,100 anti-tank weapons directly from a German arms manufacturer, according to reports in Die Welt and Bild.
In addition to man-portable missiles, Germany has also supplied Ukraine with tens of thousands of hand grenades, hundreds of explosive charges and dozens of machine guns. For firearms, the Ukrainian military received more than 16 million rounds of ammunition. The delivery of 5,000 helmets was initially ridiculed, but more than 20,000 helmets and other protective equipment have now arrived.
On April 26, the federal government promised Ukraine the delivery of 50 anti-aircraft tanks of the “Gepard” type. But it will be a while before the decommissioned anti-aircraft tanks arrive in the war zone.
Before the first 15 units can be delivered from mid-June, the tanks still have to be repaired and Ukrainian soldiers trained in how to use the “cheetahs”. Critics complain that the promised 59,000 rounds of ammunition are not enough and that the system is too complicated, reports the “Tagesschau”.
Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) announced at the beginning of May that seven “Panzerhaubitzen 2000” from the Bundeswehr stocks would be handed over to the Ukrainian armed forces.
The systems must also be repaired beforehand. The training of Ukrainian units in the operation of the howitzers had already begun in mid-May, reported “Deutschlandfunk”.
Germany wants to send Ukraine four “Mars II” multiple rocket launchers from the armaments company Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann. The Tagesspiegel learned this from government circles. The system can fire up to twelve rockets within 55 seconds, reports the “Tagesschau”. The range is up to 84 kilometers. In addition, the Ukrainian military is to receive a modern tracking radar to detect targets.
In order to regain air sovereignty, the Ukrainian armed forces could also be equipped with the “Iris-T” air defense system, said Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Bundestag last week. It is one of the most modern systems of its kind.
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But as the news portal “Business Insider” reports, there are already problems: The air defense system could not be ready for use until November or December, according to a report. For the use of the “Mars II” rocket launcher in Ukraine, the system first had to be reprogrammed. It is also unclear whether the Bundeswehr can do without the vehicles at all.
The federal government is in talks with Slovenia and the Czech Republic. The NATO partners are to deliver T-72 main battle tanks to the Ukrainian armed forces.
The advantage: The tanks were developed in the former Soviet Union and the soldiers do not need any further training. In a so-called ring exchange, Slovenia and the Czech Republic are to receive Marder, Fuchs and Leopard tanks in return. The federal government is to hold further talks with Poland, further details are still open.
Scholz’ announcement that he would also hold talks with Greece for a tank ring exchange caused a surprise in Athens, reports “Business Insider”. Soviet tanks of the TYPE “BPM” are stationed in the Mediterranean country, mainly on islands in the immediate vicinity of Turkey.
The Greek government fears that an exchange of rings for Marder tanks could lead to further tensions between neighboring countries.
The analysis by the Institute for the World Economy (IfW) does not yet include the latest intentions for ring exchanges and the intentions to supply multiple rocket launchers of the type “Mars II” and the air defense systems “Iris-T”.