War in Ukraine Live Fighting Has Intensified in Several Locations

War in Ukraine Live: Fighting Has Intensified in Several Locations in the South and East

Germany is making good progress with arms deliveries. Until last year, the country’s official doctrine was not to send military equipment to war zones. In January 2022, a few weeks before the invasion of Ukraine, the new German government, led for a month by Olaf Scholz, already saw the sending of 5,000 helmets to Ukrainian fighters as a grand gesture.

Considerable progress has been made since then, as Berlin, having supplied howitzers, rocket launchers and other weapons, delivered Ukraine a sophisticated Iris-T anti-aircraft system in the fall, before announcing early January the delivery of Marder, infantry fighting vehicles.

At each of these stages, there was a lively debate in Germany, and even within the governing coalition, about whether to stop there or increase arms supplies, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Today the debate about the Leopard 2 main battle tanks resurfaces and, as in recent months, the issue divides the majority between those who, like the Greens and the Liberals of the FDP, are more in favor of sending them to Ukraine and those who, especially in the chancellor’s party SPD, on the contrary, are much more reserved.

Public opinion is also very divided. According to a survey conducted a few days ago for ARD, 46 percent of those surveyed were in favor of Germany supplying battle tanks to Ukraine, 43 percent against.

Thomas Wieder (Berlin, correspondent)