The Russian president has condemned Western tank deliveries to Ukraine, promising a response that goes beyond armored vehicles.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has hit out at the looming deliveries of Western-made tanks to Ukraine, warning that Moscow’s response to the threat will span far beyond armored vehicles. The Russian leader made the comments during a ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of victory at the Battle of Stalingrad.
“Unbelievable, but true – we are once again threatened with German Leopard tanks, with crosses on their hull. And once again seeking to battle Russia in Ukraine with the help of Hitler’s followers, the Banderites,” Putin said.
“Those seeking to defeat Russia on the battlefield apparently do not realize that a modern war with Russia would be entirely different for them. We’re not sending our tanks to their borders. Yet we have something to respond with, and it would not be limited to armor use only, everyone must realize that,” he added.
Last week, Berlin changed its stance on supplying modern armor to Kiev, pledging to deliver 14 Leopard 2 tanks as well as allowing European countries to re-export German-made vehicles from their own inventories. The number of Leopards expected to be funneled to Ukraine amounts to some 112 vehicles. Separately, Washington pledged to send 31 Abrams tanks, but doesn’t expect to deliver them until late 2023 at the earliest.
Moscow has repeatedly urged the collective West to stop “pumping” Ukraine with modern weaponry, warning that the ongoing military aid would merely prolong the hostilities and inflict more suffering on everyday Ukrainians, rather than change the ultimate outcome of the conflict.