Germany Says Sending Ukraine Heavy Arms, Which Putin Resisted

  • Germany said Tuesday it will send heavy weapons to Ukraine, after criticism for its slow supply.
  • Leaked documents found that Germany had sent hardly any supplies to Ukraine since March 30.
  • Vladimir Putin has pressured countries like Germany to limit their help for Ukraine.

Germany said Tuesday that it will send heavy weapons to Ukraine, following criticism that it was holding back arms in apparent deference to Vladimir Putin.

After Russia invaded Ukraine, Germany stepped up its commitment to NATO — pledging to meet the suggested threshold of 2% of spending on defense — but Chancellor Olaf Scholz has since been accused of inaction.

German opposition leader Friedrich Merz accused Scholz of “dithering and timidity” last month.

Speaking to Germany’s parliament Wednesday, Scholz scrambled to defend his government’s record, and said Germany would send Ukraine IRIS-T anti-aircraft systems.

Scholz also said Germany had sent plenty of equipment to Ukraine, listing 15 million rounds of ammunition, 100,000 hand grenades, and than 5,000 anti-tank mines.

However, leaked documents published Tuesday by the Welt am Sonntag newspaper on Tuesday showed that Germany has sent only two deliveries of weapons to Ukraine since March 30.

The documents also show that Ukraine asked Germany for Harpoon anti-ship missiles, but Germany did not grant the request, Welt am Sonntag reported. (Welt and Insider share a parent company, Axel Springer.)

The slowdown came as Russian was pressuring Ukraine’s allies not to send it powerful military equipment.

In a call on Saturday, Putin warned Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron against sending arms to Ukraine, saying it would risk “further destabilization of the situation.”

In recent weeks, Ukraine has begged the West to supply it with stronger gear, such as long-range missile systems, so it can continue its efforts to drive Russian forces out of the country.

In a statement Tuesday night, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said: “Everyone at all levels must now be lobbyists for the supply of modern heavy weapons and modern artillery to our state. All those systems that can really speed up the victory of Ukraine.”

Experts recently told Insider that the current state of Russia’s invasion is about to freeze, with the front lines staying more fixed and combat becoming more attritional, meaning long range weapons will become more important. 

President Joe Biden said Monday that the US would not supply Ukraine with long range missile systems capable of reaching Russian territory. 

However, in an op-ed for The New York Times published Tuesday, Biden wrote that the US will send Ukraine a number of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, which have a a range of 48 miles.

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