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Moscow reports capture of German “Leopard” tanks

According to information from Moscow, Russian troops are said to have captured German “Leopard” tanks from Ukraine. Federal Defense Minister Pistorius announced further military aid. But Germany will not be able to replace every tank.

According to Russia, it has captured several German Leopard battle tanks and US Bradley infantry fighting vehicles in Ukraine. “These are our trophies,” said the Russian Defense Ministry. A video was published in the online service Telegram, which is supposed to show the captured, damaged tanks.

According to the information, it is equipment for the Ukrainian army in the Zaporizhia region in southern Ukraine. The tanks would now be examined. According to the ministry, they were captured “in battle” by eastern Russian forces. Some of the vehicles had “working engines”, indicating the fighting was short-lived and Ukrainian troops “fled” their attack positions, the ministry claimed.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported last week that it had destroyed several “Leopard” tanks and published corresponding images.

security expert doubts Kremlin statements

The information provided by Moscow cannot be independently verified at this time. However, military experts doubt the credibility of the statements. Gustav Carl Maria Gressel, security policy expert and Senior Policy Fellow in the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) Wider Europe Programme, considers the claim to be dubious. The front now runs a few hundred meters to the south, he writes on Twitter. The Russian testimony must be treated with extreme caution.

Shaded: territories occupied by Russia

Pistorius: Destruction is “part of the nature of war”

Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius also did not want to confirm the authenticity of the Russian images in an interview with the broadcaster “RTL” on Monday evening. But he conceded that “unfortunately, in the nature of war, weapons get destroyed, tanks get destroyed and people get killed. That’s why our support for Ukraine is so important.”

Therefore, the minister announced further military aid to Ukraine. “We will not be able to replace every tank that is now failing. But what we are doing (…), we will continue to deliver ‘Leopard 1 A5’ tanks that have been repaired from July,” he said on “RTL Direct”. “And by the end of the year that will be over 100.”

Ukraine demanded new ones tank deliveries

Western countries had delivered Leopard and Bradley tanks to Ukraine. After initial hesitation, Germany had agreed to supply Leopard tanks in January. Most recently, politicians from Ukraine, as well as from the coalition and opposition, had demanded faster subsequent deliveries with a view to destroying the tanks that had been delivered. “The Ukrainian army most urgently needs many more Western battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other armored vehicles,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk in the “Tagesspiegel”.

The CDU security politician Roderich Kiesewetter also demanded that Western supporters of Ukraine “immediately replace all destroyed material – including ‘Leopard’ battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles”. FDP defense politician Marcus Faber told the newspaper that “clear statements about the replacement of the lost material” could “support the attacked in their offensive”.

Recently, the reported attacks on both sides increased. For example, the Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih in the center of the country was attacked by rockets during the night. Several people were killed, according to Ukraine. Attacks were also reported from the Russian side. Ukraine shelled villages in Russia’s Kursk Oblast early in the morning. The information about the attacks on both sides cannot be independently verified at this time.

conflicting parties as a source

In the current situation, information on the course of the war, shelling and casualties provided by official bodies of the Russian and Ukrainian conflict parties cannot be directly checked by an independent body.

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