After weeks of negotiations and arguments, the turning point in the matter of tanks for Ukraine comes: the United States will be ready to send the M1 Abrams, the spearhead of military equipment with stars and stripes, and Germany, for its part, to supply the Leopard so far refused. These are the tanks that Kyiv has long relied on to change the fate of the conflict, now in its eleventh month and the subject of an unprecedented clash that threatens to undermine the cohesion of the alliance. Insults came from the press: the news literally chased each other, the Wall Street Journal’s revelations about American white smoke were followed by news of Spiegel on the German turn. Olaf Scholz and Joe Biden had come to an agreement, and the chancellor, under pressure for several days for refusing to let Germany move forward on its own, despite pressure from the Americans, gets an important diplomatic result. Moscow is silent for now, beyond a defiant comment from the Kremlin, which read, “Nothing good comes with tanks.” But in recent days, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has used much stronger tones, threatening a “disaster”. The Russians continue to terrorize the world by warning of steps that could lead to a third world war. And Berlin, who is listening, has so far delayed this, taking the time to “think carefully” about the move.
However, the real turning point will soon appear on the ground, when the Ukrainians will be able to count on the “most powerful weapon” on which NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg relied this morning at his first official bilateral meeting with the new German. Defense Minister Boris Pistorius. At stake now is a “large number” of American Abrams and 14 German Army Leopard 2A6 tanks. But Germany, which is struggling with inventory, is assessing the possibilities of the industry, and Rheinmetall has already announced that it can send 139 Leopards. ABC News then announced that with Berlin’s light signal, 12 more European countries (led by Poland) would be willing to send at least another 100 German superjumbos (the Kyiv army would need 5-600 to launch a real counterattack and recover lost territory, According to estimates by Pietro Batacci, Director of the Italian Defense Review). The gradual opening up of Germany after the partition recorded at Ramstein – in which US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had to close the Ukraine Contact Group summit without doing anything on January 20 – was already felt in Pistorius’s words: The partners will be, he said early in the morning in Berlin, he Able to start training the Ukrainians to use the Panthers. Moreover, Warsaw has already sent a request to the Federal Republic to allow the dispatch of the Panthers at its disposal, and the Chancellery has leaked the will to give the go-ahead as early as tomorrow. However, it was the agreement with Washington that accelerated the transfer of the Berlin decision. In fact, Scholz made it clear to Joe Biden in recent days by phone – Bild reported – that Germany on the super panzers would only go forward “together”. The Chancellor has made this principle unbreakable, along with the condition – also repeated daily – that “NATO does not become part of the conflict”. Having already given the Ukrainians Marder armored vehicles, in the face of Washington’s decision to send Bradley light tanks, the SPD leader refused to proceed alone on the Leopards, denying this loudly requested permission (even by his allies and opposition) to hand over the German panzers. Kanzler had set a quota: Yes, Washington should have guaranteed Abrams, but the Biden administration rejected the request. He said it was too expensive, too complicated to use, and difficult to handle. Then the second thought, despite the confusion of the Pentagon. And according to the Wall Street Journal, Washington’s formal approval could happen as early as this week, precisely “in the context of the agreement with the Germans.”
British volunteers Chris Barry and Andrew Bagshaw, who were reported missing in Ukraine two weeks ago, were killed while trying to evacuate a humanitarian from Solidar in the east of the country. Barry’s family said in a statement issued by the Foreign Office, citing Sky News. Barry, 28, was seen leaving Kramatorsk for Solidar with Bagshaw before losing contact this month. News of his death had now arrived, after Wagner’s mercenaries reported on January 11 that they had found the body of a volunteer, who was carrying both of their passports.
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