For a long time, the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) was sharply criticized for “insufficient arms deliveries” to Ukraine. Scholz has now had a corresponding list published. A high-ranking ex-General of the Bundeswehr tells FOCUS Online that this help could become a “game changer” against Putin’s war of aggression – provided it gets there quickly.
Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine has lasted almost four months to the day. Several thousand people have been killed. And the horrors never end. At the same time, rapid and effective arms aid from the West to Ukraine is increasingly becoming the focus of political debates.
Germany and its chancellor, Scholz, were the focus from the start. His willingness to quickly send urgently needed weapons and military equipment to Kyiv seemed too lax, and implementation was too slow. There was harsh criticism for this.
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But since Scholz had a list published for the first time on Tuesday listing military goods that have already been delivered to Ukraine or whose delivery is planned, the criticism has noticeably subsided. Even critical voices from the ranks of the military are suddenly full of praise for the chancellor.
A former high-ranking Bundeswehr general describes the list that Scholz has now presented as a “remarkable package”. “In general, anything on this list will help Ukraine defend against Putin’s attacks. But this applies in particular to the weapons, which were the subject of much debate,” said the retired general, who would like to remain anonymous, on Wednesday in an interview with FOCUS Online.
Panzerfausts, machine guns, anti-aircraft missiles and several million rounds of ammunition are of great importance for the Ukrainian defense. However, the seven “Panzerhaubitzen 2000″, which is considered the most effective tank howitzer in the world, are of particular value. “The trench warfare now raging in Luhansk and Donetsk will be decided by artillery. Right now, Putin’s troops can do whatever they want. They shell Ukrainian positions and strategic lines until they run out of ammunition and then wait for supplies. Because there is almost no Ukrainian resistance,” said the retired general.
But this situation will change in a flash when the seven German tank howitzers arrive at the front, the ex-general is convinced: “This heavy weapon is not only feared for its firepower. She is exceptionally valuable because she is extremely mobile and evades counterattacks before the enemy can shoot back.”
The shells of the German tank howitzer hit targets up to 40 kilometers away with unrivaled precision, which largely minimizes the risk of “collateral damage”. And they can reach new locations up to 40 kilometers within an hour to continue the fight from an undiscovered position.
In addition, German anti-aircraft missiles, which are also on the list, could ensure that Ukraine can keep its airspace free. If the weapons get to their destination quickly now, they are likely to inflict heavy losses on the Russian artillery positions; so harsh that Putin would have to think about a new strategy, argues the expert. “If we succeed in knocking out Putin’s artillery with the weapons that are on Scholz’s list, that could decisively change the course of the war for Ukraine and become a ‘game changer’ in the defense fight against Russia,” said the military expert.
Until a week ago, neither Selenskyj nor Melnyk had missed opportunities to criticize Germany for a “hesitant arms delivery policy,” but “both are now baking very small rolls,” said the former Bundeswehr general. “Even Melnyk only has words of praise left for the federal government.”
The most important thing now is that military aid is delivered to its Ukrainian destinations “as soon as possible”. However, he is not worried that this will happen, the retired general explains to FOCUS Online: “Fortunately, competent soldiers from the Bundeswehr are involved in the organization.”
Meanwhile, the fact that not only heavy battle tanks but also infantry fighting vehicles are missing from the published list is causing more and more misunderstanding among the troops – for no apparent reason. And this despite the fact that nobody knows better than the military themselves how valuable this type of weapon would be for Zelenskyy’s troops. “As we have known from Bundeswehr circles since yesterday, Germany could deliver at least 50 Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine. An arsenal that corresponds to an entire tank battalion,” explained another high-ranking retired Bundeswehr general to FOCUS Online.
In addition, the armored personnel carriers do not even have to be taken from the ongoing operations of the Bundeswehr, explained the defense policy spokesman for the FDP, Alexander Müller, to “Bild”. The Ukraine urgently needs the systems, every passing day costs lives. “It is therefore a mistake that tanks that have been decommissioned in Germany continue to rust without anyone organizing the repairs. Ideally, Ukrainian soldiers should be present during the repairs so that no valuable time is lost,” Müller was quoted as saying.