President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the transfer of dozens of tanks to Ukraine by various countries "will not solve the problem", because Russia has about a thousand tanks, but it will motivate the Ukrainian military.
Source: Zelenskyy in an interview with the German TV channel ARD
Quote from Zelenskyy: "You should clearly understand: when the Russian army, which has a thousand tanks, is against us... There is simply no one to fight there; they are afraid; they are unmotivated, and this is a plus for us. But when they have a thousand tanks, any country’s decision to give us 10, 20 or 50 tanks can solve the problem.
They do only one very important thing – they motivate our soldiers to fight for their own values.Because they show that the whole world is with you. I have 10 tanks, so take them all; I have 100 tanks, so take them all; and I have one tank, and I'll give it to you."
Details: At the same time, Zelenskyy criticised Germany's condition that tanks will be only given to Ukraine if the United States also transfers them, which was previously reported by the media and denied by the German authorities.
Quote: "Can you give us a Leopard? Well, give it to us. We are not attacking. These Leopards, if anyone is worried, will not go through the territory of the Russian Federation. We are defending ourselves. We are not interested in their land, people...
Do you have these Leopards, or are you competing in rhetoric? If there are Leopards, give them to us. If the Americans gave 20 Bradleys in a package and the Germans gave 20 Marders (infantry fighting vehicles). And I was very grateful. But after the statement about tanks, they say, "how many you give, I will give as many", I have a question: so you could have given more Marders, and just given 20, because the Americans gave 20 Bradleys?"
More details: Answering the question of whether Ukraine can support and maintain Leopard tanks, Zelenskyy said that, if desired, a solution to the problem should be sought.
"Of course, in terms of infrastructure, we may not be ready right now, because we don't have Leopards in our arsenal. That's true. But nobody was ready for COVID either. That didn't mean that we shouldn't look for a solution to the problem... It goes without saying that something is not ready, someone is not ready, or that Ukrainians need another 80 years to understand what a tank is. We are not that dump," the president stressed.
Boris Pistorius, the German Defence Minister, said Western allies had yet to agree on providing Ukraine with Leopard 2 main battle tanks at a Ramstein-style meeting on 20 January, but he instructed his ministry to prepare for "the day that may come".
On 22 January, Annalena Baerbock, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, said that the country would not object if Poland sent German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.