Ukraine on Verge of Losing All German Leopard Tanks: Lawmaker

The Ukrainian military is on the verge of losing all of its Leopard 2 main battle tanks donated by Germany amid heavy fighting with invading Russian forces.

Sebastian Schäfer, an economist and member of Germany’s Green Party, told local news outlet Der Spiegel on Tuesday that the war-ravaged nation has “very few” Leopard tanks left and some are no longer operational.

He said he recently visited a repair facility in Lithuania and discovered an insufficient supply of spare parts to restore damaged Ukrainian tanks.

Schäfer noted the urgent need to act, saying untrained Ukrainian forces are aggravating the damage by attempting repairs.

He urged weapons manufacturers to expedite spare parts deliveries so all Leopard tanks stuck in repair facilities could be deployed to the frontline again.

For its part, the politician said Germany should initiate more training or provide better instruction to Ukrainian mechanics.

Leopard Tanks in Ukraine

Germany’s decision to send Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine was not made lightly, as lawmakers deliberated for months.

But in early 2023, Berlin finally agreed to allow the transfer of 88 Leopard 1 and 80 advanced Leopard 2 tanks to the war-torn nation.

A total of 18 Leopard 2s straight from the inventory of the German Armed Forces were handed over to Ukraine in March 2023.

The tanks reportedly played a key role in Kyiv’s highly-anticipated counteroffensive, providing close combat support and protecting soldiers from Russian attacks.

As expected in a war, the Leopards have also figured in tragic stories, including in June 2023 when Moscow announced that it had captured an undisclosed number of the German armored vehicles.

Ukraine Also Needs More Abrams Tanks

According to a report by The National Interest, Ukraine also needs Abrams main battle tanks from the US to give the Ukrainian military the means to hold off Russian forces.

Hundreds of “highly serviceable” M1A1 Abrams are reportedly in storage with the US Marine Corps, and these could be sent to Kyiv immediately.

If provided, the Abrams and all other tanks currently in Ukraine could help repel Russian attacks over the winter and strengthen a potential spring offensive.

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