Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, commenting on reports about the plans of the German defense concern Rheinmetall to create a tank production plant in Ukraine, compared them with “primitive trolling of the Kiev regime” and threatened with Caliber cruise missiles. He wrote about this in his Telegram channel on March 4.
Earlier in the day, the head of Rheinmetall, Armin Papperge, told the Rheinische Post in an interview that talks were underway with Kiev to set up a plant worth about €200 million that could produce up to 400 Panther tanks a year. At the same time, he expressed the hope that the issue of its construction will be resolved “in the next two months.”
Commenting on this message, Medvedev wrote that it resembles “primitive trolling of the Kyiv regime.”
“If, nevertheless, the Fritz decide to build for real (although they seem to be pragmatic people), we are looking forward to it. This event will be duly marked with a salute from Kalibr and other pyrotechnic devices,” the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation emphasized.
On January 25, the German government announced a decision to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The FRG announced that they were ready to form two tank battalions, and at the first stage, Berlin would send a company of 14 tanks. At the same time, US President Joe Biden announced the delivery of 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Britain will also supply tanks to Kyiv.
Following the decision of the FRG, plans to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine were announced in Finland, Portugal, the Netherlands and Norway. But later, some of these countries reversed their decision. So, on February 15, it became known that the Netherlands and Denmark refused to participate in the coalition for the supply of Leopard tanks to Kyiv.
On February 11, American military expert Michael Kofman said that the supply of German tanks to Ukraine would not change the course of the conflict. As the expert explained, tanks are one of the strengths of the group, and it is important to understand that individual strengths are not among the decisive factors that can turn the tide.
Already on February 24, it became known that a batch of Leopard tanks arrived in Ukraine from Poland. Later, on February 28, adviser to the acting head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Jan Gagin, reported that Leopard tanks were seen in the Artemivsk area (Ukrainian name is Bakhmut).
Moscow has repeatedly condemned the supply of arms to Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on January 16 that a new round of deliveries of more advanced military equipment to Ukraine could “only drag out the whole story.”
Since February 24, Russia has been conducting a special operation to protect the Donbass, whose residents refused to recognize the results of the 2014 coup d’état in Ukraine. The decision to hold it was made against the background of the aggravation of the situation in the region due to shelling by Ukrainian troops.
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