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On Monday, Germany delivered 18 Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine’s border and handed them over to the Ukrainian government. The tanks, along with about 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, were delivered in compliance with German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius’ assurance that the tanks would be delivered by the end of March.
Prior to delivering the tanks to Ukraine, the Ukrainian tank crews and forces assigned to the Marder vehicles both underwent several weeks of training with the German army at training sites in Muenster and Bergen.
In addition to the German-supplied tanks and vehicles, 3 more Leopard tanks from Portugal were also delivered.
As the Leopard 2 tanks arrive in Ukraine, claims have begun to circulate on social media that the tanks are known to get stuck in deep mud, which is scattered across parts of Ukraine. However, there has been no evidence to support the assertions. An entire battalion of the newer German Puma tanks failed drills several months ago, which could be a source of the claims being made by some in the European media.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces are wrapping up training on the UK-supplied Challenger II tanks, with British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace saying that the Ukrainian soldiers “return to their homeland better equipped, but to no less danger.”
“It is truly inspiring to witness the determination of Ukrainian soldiers having completed their training on British Challenger 2 tanks on British soil. We will continue to stand by them and do all we can to support Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Wallace added.
While it is uncertain at this time where the newly delivered tanks will be deployed, it’s likely that they will be headed to the frontlines in Bakhmut in the Donetsk region – a city almost completely surrounded by Russian forces that has been continuously pummeled by Russian heavy artillery around the clock for weeks.