With Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky repeatedly calling on Western powers to send in more weapons, the arrival of German artillery will give Ukraine’s defenses a boost. At the start of the war, Germany was reluctant to send arms to Ukraine for fear of a diplomatic or military row with Russia, initially choosing to send protective helmets to Kyiv.
Defense analyst Nicholas Drummond noted, “It took a while, but German heavy weapons are now in Ukraine, dropping warheads on the Russian front. Cheers, Germany!”
Tweeting about the arrival of the weapons, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov wrote: “The German Panzerhaubitze 2000s are finally part of the 155 mm howitzer arsenal of the Ukrainian artillery.
The Minister then thanked his German counterpart Christine Lambrecht for the delivery of the essential weapons.
Germany promised delivery of seven howitzers in May, with the Netherlands expected to provide five more.
France has also supplied Ukraine with similar weapons which have already been deployed on the front lines.
Mr. Reznikov went on to explain that the delivery was “an example of international cooperation in favor of Ukraine”.
The Panzerhaubitze 2000 are among the most powerful artillery weapons in the German army’s stock.
Howitzers can hit targets up to 40 kilometers (25 miles) away.
Besides the recent delivery of seven howitzers, the German Defense Ministry said it had sent 14,900 anti-tank mines, 500 STINGER anti-aircraft missiles and 2,700 anti-aircraft missiles.
In addition, Germany had supplied Ukraine with 16 million handgun cartridges, as well as 100,000 hand grenades, to name just a few of the more notable entries on the list.
Under non-lethal supplies, Germany has already provided equipment including, but not limited to, 175 vehicles (including trucks, buses and all-terrain vehicles), 23,000 combat helmets, 10 000 sleeping bags, 1,200 hospital beds and 100 tents.
Germany had previously been criticized for its reluctance to supply arms to Ukraine.
The German government has defended the delays, saying it needs to ensure Ukrainian troops receive training on new weapons systems and that defense industry protocols need to be drastically changed to accommodate the deliveries.
Despite the delivery of the howitzers, several other shipments promised to Ukraine earlier in the year have yet to be shipped.
Among the weapons that have not yet been sent to Ukraine are air defense systems and rocket launchers.
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Speaking about the delivery, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: “It is needed now.
“It was the right thing to decide now and in this situation.”
Mr Scholz said Russia must end the war and stressed Ukraine’s right to exist.
He added: “Everything we do is aimed at that.
Read more stories like this by following Express.co.uk Defense and Security Correspondent James Lee on Twitter @JamesLee_DE
The US recently announced additional weapons worth $1bn (£800m), including MRLS and HIMARS rocket systems, as well as more Howitzer guns.
Added to this is a large sum devoted to humanitarian aid, with food, medicine and shelter making up a large part of the budget.
More than 5.5 million Ukrainian refugees have fled the country since the start of the war, but major cities like Kyiv are beginning to see a return to normalcy despite increasingly rare sporadic strikes on the city.
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