Germany’s decision to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine has brought Russia’s war to a “new level of confrontation,” according to Russian Ambassador to Germany Sergey Nechaev.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
Russian Ambassador to Germany Sergey Nechaev.
In a statement, Nechaev said that Germany’s decision was “extremely dangerous” and “contradicts” statements from German politicians about the country’s unwillingness to be drawn into the Ukraine conflict. The comments from the Ambassador follow an announcement from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, which confirmed Germany would provide 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks to Ukraine and allow other countries in possession of the German-made tanks also to provide their tanks to Ukraine.
The Russian Ambassador’s statement comes as the speaker of the lower house of Russia’s parliament warned that nations providing Ukraine with more powerful weapons could cause a “global tragedy that would destroy their countries,” according to the Associated Press. Russian state media has also criticized Germany’s decision to deliver the tanks.
In addition to Germany, US President Biden has also pledge to provide 31 M1A2 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The Leopard 2 and Abrams tanks are several generations ahead of the Soviet-era Russian tanks that Ukraine has been using in the war up until now, according to David Silbey, associate professor of history at Cornell University.
According to Silbey, the newer generation of tanks have much better armor and defensive systems, much more powerful primary weapons, and much better sensor suites, which allows them to fire at much longer range. Silbey added that the “drawback” of the more modern tanks is “they are heavy and logistics-intensive, needing a lot of fuel and maintenance.”