Russia-Ukraine war live: Germany to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, reports say — as it happened – The Guardian

Media reports say German chancellor Olaf Scholz has decided to send the vehicles and allow other countries to send their German-made tanks

German chancellor Olaf Scholz has decided to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and allow other countries such as Poland to do so while the US may supply Abrams tanks, magazine Spiegel has reported.
A government spokesperson declined to comment. The defence ministry was not immediately available for comment, Reuters reported.
The decision concerns at least one company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks that will be provided out of Bundeswehr stocks, Spiegel said.
Other allies, in Scandinavia for example, intend to go along with Germany in supplying their Leopard tanks to Kyiv, the magazine reported.
In the longer term, more tanks could be restored to be fit for use, according to the magazine.
That’s it from me, Tom Ambrose, and the Ukraine live blog for today. Thanks for following along.
All the latest news from Russia’s war on Ukraine can be found here.
The G7 and other partner countries have pledged to maintain their support for Ukraine’s energy sector, including delivering equipment and other humanitarian aid during winter, the US state department said following a meeting of the group’s foreign ministers.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken and Japanese foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi co-hosted the meeting, in which countries also vowed to continuing coordinating on Ukraine’s efforts to “modernise and decarbonise its energy grid,” the department said after Tuesday’s virtual meeting.
German chancellor Olaf Scholz has decided to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and allow other countries such as Poland to do so while the US may supply Abrams tanks, magazine Spiegel has reported.
A government spokesperson declined to comment. The defence ministry was not immediately available for comment, Reuters reported.
The decision concerns at least one company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks that will be provided out of Bundeswehr stocks, Spiegel said.
Other allies, in Scandinavia for example, intend to go along with Germany in supplying their Leopard tanks to Kyiv, the magazine reported.
In the longer term, more tanks could be restored to be fit for use, according to the magazine.
It is just approaching 8pm in Kyiv, and here is a summary of the day so far as discussions continue over whether Germany will allow Poland to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Germany could give approval to Poland to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine as soon as Wednesday. Figures close to the decision spoke to the Bloomsberg news site after Poland submitted a formal application on Tuesday. German law requires them to give approval before any of its military equipment is re-exported. Germany has said it will respond with “necessary urgency”.
German newspaper Der Spiegel reports that a decision could be taken before Wednesday, and has indicated that president Olaf Scholz is likely to say yes to the request.
Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg is confident the alliance will find a solution soon, he said after meeting Germany’s defence minister. “At this pivotal moment in the war, we must provide heavier and more advanced systems to Ukraine, and we must do it faster,” Stoltenberg said.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Biden administration is leaning toward sending Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The paper says Berlin would agree to send a smaller number of its own Leopard 2 tanks and would also approve the delivery of more German-made tanks by Poland and other nations in return.
In Ukraine, fifteen senior officials have left their posts since Saturday, six of whom have had corruption allegations levelled at them by journalists and Ukraine’s anti-corruption authorities. The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said on Tuesday he had asked President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday to relieve him of his duties as part of the wave of government resignations and dismissals.
Deputy defence minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, responsible for supplying troops with food and equipment, also resigned, citing “media accusations” of corruption that he and the ministry say are baseless. Deputy prosecutor general Oleksiy Symonenko has been removed from his post, and two deputy ministers resigned from Ukraine’s ministry of communities and territories development.
Five regional governors are also being removed from power: Valentyn Reznichenko, of Dnipropetrovsk, Oleksandra Starukha of Zaporizhzhia, Oleksiy Kuleba of Kyiv, Dymtro Zhivytskyi, of Sumy and Yaroslav Yanushevich, of Kherson. Kherson and Zaporizhizhia are two of the regions of Ukraine which the Russian Federation has claimed to annex.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has set its Doomsday Clock, intended to illustrate existential risks to the world, at 90 seconds to midnight, the closest to midnight the clock has ever been since it was first introduced in 1947. It is “largely” because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, they said.
Ukraine has enough coal and gas reserves for the remaining months of winter despite repeated Russian attacks on its energy system, prime minister Denys Shmyhal has said.
Finland’s foreign minister Pekka Haavisto has signalled a possible pause in discussions with Turkey over Finnish ambitions to join Nato alongside Sweden, which he says is due to the pressure of Turkey’s forthcoming election.
Supporters of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny have gathered for a protest in Berlin on Tuesday to highlight the prison conditions he is being kept in, in Russia.
Russia does not plan to rebuild the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol which were the site of heavy bombardment in the early weeks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.
Russian football officials met their counterparts at Uefa on Tuesday as they tried to negotiate Russia’s return to international football in Europe. It has been banned by Uefa and Fifa since the invasion of Ukraine.
Twenty-five people have been killed and more than 90 injured in Russia’s border region of Belgorod since the start of Moscow’s assault on Ukraine, the region’s governor has told president Vladimir Putin.
“Ukraine, the enemy, is targeting peaceful settlements. There are 25 dead, 96 people were wounded,” governor Vyacheslav Gladkov told Putin in televised remarks according to Agency France Presse.
This is the first time Russian officials have announced an official death toll for a Russian region since the start of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.
Supporters of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny have gathered for a protest in Berlin on Tuesday to highlight the prison conditions he is being kept in, in Russia.
Navalny has been kept in a high security prison since June last year. He was initially jailed for breaking parole conditions – when he was taken to Germany to get lifesaving treatment after being poisoned with novichok – and was arrested immediately on his return.
Last June he was found guilty of further charges of embezzlement and contempt of court, with another nine years added to his initial two-and-a-half year term.
The protest takes place on the day where the documentary about him and his poisoning, Navalny, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature Film. For UK readers, who have not seen the film already, it is available on BBC iPlayer.
Here’s an interesting read by our reporters Shaun Walker and Pjotr Sauer on Yevgeny Prigozhin, the man behind the mercenary Wagner group that is fighting for Russia in Ukraine.

At the height of Russia’s first, covert invasion of eastern Ukraine, in summer 2014, a group of senior Russian officials gathered at the defence ministry’s headquarters, an imposing Stalin-era building on the banks of the Moskva River.
They were there to meet Yevgeny Prigozhin, a middle-aged man with a shaven head and a coarse tone whom many in the room knew only as the person responsible for army catering contracts.
Now, Prigozhin had a different kind of demand. He wanted land from the defence ministry that he could use for the training of “volunteers” who would have no official links to the Russian army but could still be used to fight Russia’s wars.
Many in the ministry did not like Prigozhin’s manner, but he made it clear that this was no ordinary request. “The orders come from Papa,” he told the defence officials, using a nickname for Vladimir Putin designed to emphasise his closeness to the president.
Read more:
Russia met with officials at Uefa on Tuesday as it tried to make its return to international football in Europe.
Russian Football Union vice-president Aleksandr Alaev declined to comment when leaving after three hours of face-to-face talks, Associated Press reports. They were the first discussions since Russia drew back from a threat last month to leave Uefa and seek to join the Asian Football Confederation.
Russian teams are banned from Uefa and Fifa competitions during the war in Ukraine and there currently is no way back from those decisions that were upheld at sport’s highest court.
National teams including Poland, Switzerland and Albania had refused within days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February to play their scheduled games against Russia.
When the Uefa and Fifa bans imposed on 28 February were challenged at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, judges agreed that the consequences of letting Russian teams play “would be irreparable and chaotic” for the smooth running of competitions.
Russian teams were removed from trying to qualify for the men’s and women’s World Cups, the women’s 2022 European Championship which it had qualified for, plus European youth and club competitions.
Uefa also terminated sponsorship deals with Russian state energy firm Gazprom, moved the 2022 Champions League final from the home stadium of Zenit St Petersburg, and banned the club from this season’s Champions League group stages.
Russia does not plan to rebuild the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol which were the site of heavy bombardment in the early weeks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.
According to the Russian Tass news agency, construction ministry official Yulia Maximova said it would be “impossible and unprofitable”.
The works were a major employer in the south-eastern city. The plant faced heavy shelling as thousands took refuge and many were killed – although figures differ.
Maximova said operations had been suspended and that it will “never operate as it previously did”.
She added that Russia planned to compensate people if the major employer isn’t restored.
Germany could give approval to Poland for Warsaw to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine as soon as Wednesday, Bloomberg is reporting.
Figures close to the decision spoke to the news outlet after Poland submitted a formal application on Tuesday. German law requires them to give approval before any of its military equipment is re-exported. Germany has said it will respond with “necessary urgency”.
It means hundreds of the tanks in Europe can only be supplied to Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s forces with politicians’ approval.

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