Spain gifts Leopard 2A4s to Ukraine, EU pays for their upgrade
MADRID ($1=1.00 Euros) — The Spanish government is preparing to donate to Ukraine 10 Leopard 2A4s battle tanks and 20 M113 armored personnel carriers, which are part of the inventory of the Spanish army. The donation is military aid from Madrid to Kyiv because of the invasion of Russian troops into Ukrainian territory, which initiated a war between the two countries.
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According to the Spanish online portal InfoDifensa, the operation to transfer to Kyiv this military material was designed in a triangle. After the Leopard 2A4 and M113 become Ukraine’s property, the Zelenskyi government will finance their updating and modernization on Spanish soil with money from the European Union’s European Peace Fund. For this purpose, it will be necessary to conclude a contract with Spanish companies. The final phase will be the transfer to the theater of operations.
A team of Ukrainian experts traveled to Spain in the past two weeks to monitor the condition of the material and will be responsible for determining the level of ambition to update and modernize the systems, something that is not yet closed, according to Spanish sources. According to Spanish sources, the weapons systems that will be transferred to Ukraine are unused, stored, and inactive.
Regarding the scope of the program in financial and time terms, it is premature to specify, the sources added, but the full operation could represent at least between five and fifteen million euros, and the delivery period could last until the end of this year, depending on the ambition of the setup and the difficulty of finding the necessary spare parts and systems for the two military vehicles.
Ukraine is unhappy with Spain’s help so far
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Spain keeps a total of 53 models of Leopard 2A4 tanks at its Casetas military base, near Zaragoza. 55 tons, a powerful 120 mm Rheinmetall L/44 gun, and two 7.62 mm MG3 machine guns, this is a very effective battle tank.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Spain, Igor Zovkva, has asked – privately and publicly – for greater Spanish involvement in sending offensive military aid, and as a result, the Ministry of Defense has recently launched a study on what it can contribute in this regard. especially considering that other European Union countries have offered and/or supplied the Ukrainian armed forces with tanks or heavily armored vehicles.
The Ukrainian diplomatic mission in Spain itself informed the ministry of its interest in the battle tanks that the Spanish army had in stock – others described as abandoned – and requested their selfless delivery.
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border, and claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.
On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent states, according to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole, and Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.
On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.
Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, in which Russia has its permanent representation, for military action to be defined as a “special military operation”, it must have a resolution issued by the UN. There is no such resolution, which automatically defines the military actions of the Russians as an invasion and war against the citizens of Ukraine.
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