The number of Russian ships in the Black Sea has increased, leading to fears of a new wave of missile attacks against the territory of Ukraine. This can be read in a post on Facebook by the Operational Command of the Ukrainian army for the south of the country. “Among the ten ships are two Kalibr surface aircraft carriers. A total of 16 missiles can be fired,” read. “Preparations for missile attacks are evident”, continues the Command, saying that “a massive missile attack with the use of aircraft is not excluded”. Then follows an appeal to the Ukrainians to “not ignore the anti-aircraft warning signals, stay alert and watchful.”
Meanwhile the German government has authorized the export of Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine. This was confirmed today in Berlin by government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit, without providing further details. So far, the federal government has only announced the delivery of the most modern Leopard 2 tanks from Bundeswehr stocks.
According to Der Spiegel, there would be 29 Leopard 1s that have already been largely prepared by the German industry. Currently they would be at the Flensburger Fahrzeugbau company. According to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Rheinmetall and Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft would like to prepare dozens of Leopard 1 tanks for export to Ukraine. At the moment, however, there would have been problems with the supply of ammunition.
Norway is to buy 54 German-made Leopard 2 tanks to boost its army’s defensive capabilities as tensions rise following the war in Ukraine. This was announced by Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, underlining that Europe is experiencing an unprecedented situation since the Second World War and for this reason it is necessary to equip itself with more tanks to defend itself. According to the broadcaster Nrk, the first German tanks will not arrive before 2026. After the first 54 tanks, Oslo reserves the right to buy another 18. Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gram stressed that Norway needs more tanks armed to align its military capabilities with those of allied countries.
F-16 – As for the transfer of F-16 aircraft to Ukraine, Germany will not be decisive as this is American technology. This was stated by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in an interview with BBC News Ukraine, explaining that “the position of Germany and of Chancellor Scholz was important as regards the Leopard tanks, with German technology, therefore Germany’s word was the key. In the question of aircraft, Germany’s word is not fundamental, because it concerns American technology”.
According to Kuleba, any country would need the consent of the United States for the transfer of the F-16s. “There are a lot of these planes, thousands,” she added, noting that the countries that own these planes have started to rearm themselves with the F-35, so Ukraine can ask for these planes. We are open to communication with all partners. But we always approach the issue of weapons very rationally and focus on exactly what we can achieve. The main thing is to achieve the adoption of political decisions. But having resolved the issue related to the Patriots and other air defense systems, I have no doubt that this decision will also be made.”