Why is Berlin so unwilling to provide Ukraine with Leopard tanks. The worldʼs leading media about the war on January 20

Anton Semyzhenko


The Wall Street Journal analyzes recent statements by Ukrainian allies about the supply of new types of weapons to Kyiv. The publicationʼs brief conclusion: the German refusal to hand over Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine was the turning point in this story ― the optimal weapon that would allow Ukraine to withstand a possible Russian offensive and more successfully retake the territories captured by the Russians. The rest of the countries ― such as France, the Czech Republic, Sweden ― announced the provision of new types of weapons, in particular so that Germany would feel the pressure and succumb to the arguments of Kyiv, Brussels and Washington. For the same purpose, London announced the provision of Challenger tanks to Ukraine. However, Germany, in the person of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, is currently unmoved. "Politicians in this country traditionally tend to make important decisions, looking back at public opinion and the decisions of allies, in particular the United States," the publication says. "Currently, the majority of Germans are against the provision of tanks to Ukraine, only 35% are in favor." The United States, on the other hand, received an explanation from Germany that it would allow the Leopard to be handed over to Ukraine only if Washington handed Kiev the complex and expensive Abrams tanks. The WSJ believes that Berlinʼs position is not a connivance of Russia, but a fear of Germanyʼs reputation after the Second World War. With reference to unnamed "top officials" of the country, the publication describes one of the main fears: after 80 years, German tanks will again drive through Ukrainian lands. This will be a significant trump card for the Russians, who can use it as a pretext for escalation and mobilization within the country - for example, if one of the Leopards is captured by the invaders as a trophy, they will surely show it off using obvious rhetoric. American interlocutors in Berlin are trying to calm down the Germans, in particular with the thesis that what kind of escalation can we be talking about? The Russians brought practically everything they were capable of to the battlefield anyway.

In the meantime, the Canadian company CBC made an article about Senator armored cars, which are currently in service with Ukrainian border guards. Canada handed over eight such cars to Ukraine, and recently announced a new batch of 200 cars. The journalists got unprecedented access: they drove the Senator along the border line and talked to the border guards who used the cars in combat conditions. Ukrainians praise the car: it is fast and reliable, which is what you need when you need to quickly deliver the infantry to the right point. There is an unverified video showing the Senator after a mine exploded next to the armored car. The outer glass in the window of the car was cracked, but there was no damage inside the cab.

The American public broadcaster NPR published a photo report on the traditional bathing of Ukrainians in Vodokhreshcha, calling it "Despite the war, Ukrainians do not betray the tradition of diving into the icy river water." To do this, media journalists visited the city of Dnipro ― they observed a small group of people bathing on January 19. In the localsʼ desire to follow this tradition, the media also saw a symbol of resistance: a few days have passed since a terrible tragedy in the city, when a Russian rocket hit a nine-story residential building and killed dozens of people. "Of course, there is no festive mood now," Mykola Pastushenko, one of the swimming participants, told the media. "But this is another reason to get together and feel like a community." "Yes, such rituals bring back a sense of normalcy," 49-year-old swimmer Yulia agrees with him. "And I hope that in a year we will return here."