Germany to supply Ukraine with $3B defense aid package, largest yet from country

The country initially resisted calls to provide weaponry, agreeing only to provide humanitarian and medical aid

ByDuarte Mendonca, Kostan Nechyporenko, Frederik Pleitgen, Stephanie Halasz and Sophie Tanno, CNN
Saturday, May 13, 2023
Ukraine forces retake major ground around Bakhmut
Soldier bodycam footage shows Ukrainian troops expelling Russian forces near Bakhmut.

BERLIN -- Germany announced Saturday that it would supply Ukraine with an aid package worth nearly $3 billion to strengthen the country's defense, marking Berlin's largest pledge in military aid since the start of the war, CNN reported.

The German Ministry of Defense said in a statement that the package may include a variety of military hardware, including armored personnel carriers, 30 Leopard tanks, reconnaissance drones and ammunition.

"With this valuable contribution of urgently needed military material, we are once again showing that Germany is serious about its support," Germany's Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said.

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"We all wish for a speedy end to this terrible war waged by Russia against the Ukrainian people, which is contrary to international law," Pistorius said. "Unfortunately, this is not yet in sight. Germany will therefore provide all the help it can, as long as it takes."

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, confirmed Germany's support Saturday via his Telegram account while thanking them for their aid.

The development comes after the U.S. announced Tuesday a $1.2 billion aid package to Ukraine intended to "bolster its air defenses" and "sustain its artillery ammunition needs," with Ukraine's counteroffensive against Russian forces looming.

Germany's military support for Ukraine has evolved over time. The country initially resisted calls to provide weaponry to Kyiv, agreeing only to provide humanitarian help and medical equipment. That approach was in line with Germany's decades-long policy of not supplying lethal weapons to crisis zones.

In a major policy U-turn earlier this year, Berlin announced it would provide Kyiv with Leopard 2 battle tanks. Then, in April, Berlin also committed to sending Gepard anti-aircraft systems.

Not everyone in Germany has been on board with their government's decision, however, with thousands taking to the streets of Berlin and other cities across the country earlier this year to protest the delivery of weapons to Ukraine.

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