Published On: Thu, Jan 27th, 2022

Vitali Klitschko left ‘speechless’ as Germany sends 5,000 helmets to Ukraine, not 100,000 | World | News


Despite Ukraine’s pleas for defence weapons against Russia’s vast army, continues to stand its ground and instead sent 5,000 helmets. The move has sparked heavy criticism with Kiev’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko calling it “an absolute joke”.

“The behaviour of the German government just leaves me speechless,” Vitali Klitschko, Mayor of Kiev, told BILD the German tabloid paper.

He added: “Apparently, the defence minister did not understand that we are dealing with a perfectly equipped Russian army that could start another invasion of Ukraine at any time. 5000 helmets is an absolute joke. What does Germany want to send next in support? Pillow?”

A need for 100,000 combat helmets and tactical vests has been registered with the federal government.

On January 19, Ukraine wrote to Germany’s Ministry of Defence asking for equipment assistance, citing helmets and body armour are needed to bolster the country’s protection should invade.

The former Soviet republic asked for arms – as the British sent them earlier this month – but instead, Germany sent only 5,000 helmets.

Christine Lambrecht, Germany’s Minister of Defence, said: “Germany will supply Ukraine with military equipment. More precisely: With 5,000 helmets for soldiers.”

Ms Lamrecht said it was a “very clear signal” that the country stands by Ukraine in the escalating situation with Russia.

She said Germany are “working to resolve this conflict peacefully in the middle of Europe”, and welcomed that talks on the Ukraine conflict are getting back on track.

Andriy Melnyk, the Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin, welcomed the promise of military helmets but criticised it as being a “purely symbolic gesture”.

Considering the scale of the situation, the delivery of 5000 helmets is “just a drop in the ocean, it’s not even a consolation”, Ambassador Melnyk told the German Press Agency dpa on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Britain in talks to send ‘thousands of troops’ to Eastern Europe

“Ukraine is expecting a U-turn from the German government, a true paradigm shift”, he added.

As well as the limited supply of headgear, it is not known whether the helmets are new or old, or whether the helmets would be donated or Ukraine would have to pay for them.

In the Bundeswehr – Germany’s armed forces – the combat helmet named ‘Gefechtshelm M92’ has been gradually discarded for years and replaced by newer models. Ironically, the newer models come from Ukraine and cost four times as much.

Europe is also critical of Germany’s blockade attitude of supplying arms to Ukraine from other countries.

Estonia – a NATO ally, Latvia and Lithuania announced in a joint statement on Friday that they would deliver anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine – so Kiev could defend itself “in the event of a possible Russian attack”.

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According to Latvia’s Defence Minister Artis Pabriks, Germany’s block on arms deliveries to Ukraine shows the country’s close business and economic ties with Russia.

“This includes not only the gas relations and Nord Stream 2, but numerous German companies that want to snuggle up to both Russia and China”, Pabriks told BILD reporters.

Andriy Melnyk, Ukrainian ambassador, appealed to the German population to help “the traffic government to act more actively”.

While he believed the delivery of helmets is the first sign that the German government are questioning its “absolutely incomprehensible blockade attitude”, he stressed it was purely a symbolic gesture and more needs to be done to strengthen Ukraine’s defence in the face of the acute threat of war.

“We don’t need tactics and manoeuvring, but courageous action by the Federal Republic, which is finally supplying Ukraine with German defensive weapons, which we need most of all today”, he concluded.



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