According to Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD), the training of Ukrainian tank soldiers in Germany is on schedule. "It remains the same: the goal is for the tanks, both the Leopards and the Marders, to be delivered by the end of March and then the training to be completed," said Pistorius on Monday in Munster, Lower Saxony. The delivery of tanks is part of German military aid to help Ukraine defend against Russia.
SPD leader Lars Klingbeil, CDU defense politician Henning Otte and former world boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko also attended the visit. "Back then, a year ago, the free world never believed in us, Ukraine. I would like to ask you to believe in us, in Ukraine, to continue to believe that we can defend ourselves," said Klitschko. It's a matter of death or life. "There is only one choice between the two and nothing else," he said. "And that's why we learn quickly. What you should probably learn in a year, we learn in weekly cycles."
The training is carried out on behalf of the European Union. For this purpose, a so-called Special Training Command was set up in Strausberg near Berlin. Not only tank soldiers are trained - so far 1200 Ukrainians have been trained. And there will be 3,000 soldiers when those who are currently in training are finished with their training. The goal is 15,000, maybe even 30,000 soldiers.
The horror of war on their faces
Pistorius said he wanted to get an idea of the training that has been going on since January 30th. During his visit to Kiev he met some of the men and saw very serious faces. You could see the horror of the war in them, "but at the same time also the will and unbroken morale to continue fighting for the freedom and integrity of Ukraine."
At the military training area in Munster, the cooperation between the commander and the gunner is practiced in the turret of the Marder infantry fighting vehicle in live firing with the turret weapons. The interaction of the individual crew members is trained in simulators for the Leopard 2 main battle tank. All this is shown to the delegation.
There are five weeks for training on the Leopard 2A6. "The goal is to make them fit for war so that they can assert themselves in battle," said a German officer. About 20 percent of Ukrainians have combat experience, but the much larger part only has basic military knowledge. "The Ukrainians are all highly motivated and very inquisitive," he says.
Stabilized weapon system
The Bundeswehr experts firmly believe that the Leopard 2 is far superior in combat against Russian armored troops. One reason is that it has a stabilized weapon system and can fire while moving, but the Russian T-72 has to stand still for the shot. A German soldier says the Leopard battle tank will "stand its ground" in battle.
"The difference is like between Mercedes and Lada," said a Ukrainian soldier about the German device. The fact that everything is labeled in German is not a problem. The technology is logical, and if you understand the principle, you can even follow the German trainers without knowing the language. Vitalii is 57 years old, older than most but also defaced with glasses and a cloth tube pulled over his face. security reasons. After his training, it is practically certain that he will soon be fighting at the front. In response to a question, he says: "Everyone is afraid, but the important thing is how you deal with it and that despite the fear you keep fighting."