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Ukraine conflict: Leopard 2A6 and Challenger 2 MBTs delivered to Kyiv

A Büffel armoured recovery vehicle (left) and Leopard 2A6 tanks (right) for Ukraine being loaded on a train in Bergen-Belsen, Germany. (Bundeswehr/Susanne Hähnel)

Ukraine has received German Leopard 2A6 and UK Challenger 2 main battle tanks (MBTs). The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced in a press release on 28 March that 18 Leopard 2A6s, including ammunition and spare parts, and two Büffel armoured recovery vehicles, with their crews trained in Germany, had arrived in Ukraine the same day. Also on 28 March, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov tweeted that Challenger 2 tanks supplied by the UK had recently arrived in Ukraine and would soon begin combat missions.

The German MoD said 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) supplied by Germany were already in Ukraine. German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius expected German armoured vehicles to be decisive on the front. He said that Germany, together with Sweden and Portugal, was providing a combat unit to Ukraine, with Berlin increasing the number of Leopard 2A6s it is donating from 14 to 18.

The German MoD said that the next step would be the delivery of Leopard 1A5 MBTs to Ukraine, with financing of the vehicles' overhaul done by Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands. The aim is for the first 25 Leopard 1A5s to be ready by mid-2023, increasing to around 80 by the end of the year and to at least 100 during 2024.

The first four Leopard 2s – the A4 version – arrived in Ukraine on 24 February.

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