German Defense Minister makes surprise trip to Kyiv, first Leopard tank arrives in Ukraine


Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov together with the German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius in Kyiv on 7 February 2023. Credit: Oleksii Reznikov's Twitter. 

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The German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has made an unannounced visit to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv today, DW reported.

Boris Pistorius met with Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Reznikov shared a photo of himself holding a scale model of a German-made Leopard 2 tank next to Pistorius on Twitter with an intriguing commentary.

“The ‘first’ Leopard 2 has arrived in Kyiv. There will be more of them. Thank you to Bundeskanzler and my colleague Boris Pistorius and the German people. The tank coalition is marching… to victory!Reznikov wrote.

Three EU countries to deliver 178 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine – Bloomberg

The German Defense Minister announced in Kyiv that Leopard 2 A6 main battle tanks would be available for Ukraine by the end of March.

Furthermore, Pistorius confirmed that Ukraine will get 178 Leopard 1 battle tanks on top of Leopard 2 tanks.

“I realize how proud we can all be, Germany included, of what we’re achieving here,” Pistorius said in Kyiv. “After the US and together with the UK, Germany is Ukraine’s biggest supporter.” 

Germany’s Scholz sent Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine after “pressure from all sides” – MP

Apart from meeting senior Ukrainian officials, the German Defense Minister met with Ukrainian soldiers operating the German-made anti-aircraft gun tank Gepard which is stationed in Kyiv to intercept aerial attacks from Russia. Pistorius said it was impressive to see how quickly Ukrainian troops had mastered the German military gear, and how much it was helping Ukrainian defensive operations.

“Ukraine must win this war. The world without Putin would be a better place to live in,” Pistorius told the German reporter in a short interview with the Bild when he arrived in Kyiv.


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