German Leopard 2 tanks have arrived in Ukraine

BERLIN (Reuters) – The German Defense Ministry said on Monday that 18 Leopard 2 tanks that Germany pledged to support Ukraine in its war against Russia had arrived in Ukraine.

Germany agreed in January to supply the tanks, considered among the best in the West’s arsenal, to overcome misgivings about sending heavy weapons that Kiev says are crucial to defeating the Russian invasion but which Moscow sees as a dangerous provocation.

“I am sure they can make a decisive contribution on the front,” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in a tweet.

A security source said that in addition to the 18 tanks, 40 German Mardier infantry fighting vehicles and two armored vehicles arrived in Ukraine.

The German Army trained Ukrainian tank crews as well as troops assigned to operate Marder vehicles for several weeks at Muenster and Bergen in northern Germany.

The security source said that three Leopard tanks donated by Portugal arrived in Ukraine along with the German vehicles.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold and Rachel Moore); Writing by Maria Martinez; Editing by Friedrich Heine, Thomas Janowski and Allison Williams

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