Ukraine receives Leopard 1 tanks from Germany, Denmark, Netherlands
Ukraine receives its first batch of Leopard 1 tanks donated by Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands as part of a commitment to bolster its defense capabilities.
The first batch of Leopard 1 tanks, a donation from Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands, has arrived in Ukraine, with more on the way, as announced by Denmark's armed forces on Friday.
The three countries had jointly pledged to provide 100 German-made Leopard tanks in the "coming months" back in February. According to the Danish armed forces, "The first 10 tanks have been sent to Ukraine. And more are on the way. A further 10 tanks have been delivered from the factory."
In addition to the tank delivery, Danish troops stationed in Germany are actively engaged in training Ukrainian forces on the operation and utilization of these vehicles. Army commander Gunner Arpe Nielsen expressed confidence in the positive impact of this assistance, stating, "I have no doubt that it will help them win the defense battle they are fighting right now."
Notably, Denmark's Leopard 1 A5 tanks were a part of its defense arsenal until 2005. In 1997, Denmark acquired 51 Leopard 2A4 tanks, resulting in the phasing out of the older Leopard 1 A5 models.
So far, The Leopard 2 tank has been successfully targeted and destroyed by Russian forces in several Ukrainian offensives. Since the start of Kiev's counteroffensive, tens of Leopard tanks were put out of service by Russian weapons, including suicide lancet drones, attack helicopters, mines, and artillery fire.
Ukraine complains of Russian air superiority which it attributes its failures in its counteroffensive to.
On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his concerns highlighting the critical issue of Russian air superiority that has been hindering Kiev's counteroffensive efforts amidst what he described as a slow supply of weapons from Western allies, AFP reported.
President Zelensky emphasized the impact of Russian dominance in the skies: calling for the acquisition of more "powerful and long-range" weapons to bolster Ukraine's defenses.
"If we are not in the sky and Russia is, they stop us from the sky. They stop our counteroffensive," Zelensky said justifying the slow pace of the counteroffensive.
Keiv has repeatedly requested military aircraft to combat the Russian forces, but many of its Western allies have hesitated to provide such support. A particular point of contention has been the delayed delivery of US-made F16 fighter jets, intended to modernize Ukraine's aging Soviet-era air fleet.
In response to criticisms regarding the pace of Ukraine's counteroffensive, President Zelensky asserted, "When some partners say: so what about the counteroffensive, when will the next step be? My answer: Today, our steps are certainly faster than the new sanctions packages."
However, Zelensky's analysis disregards a variety of factors, including well-set-up Russian defenses, improved Russian tactics, and low Ukrainian morale, as the war in Ukraine drags on with no visible solution on the horizon.