After much pondering and perhaps prevaricating, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has broken with a seven-decades-old non-aggression policy by greenlighting tank deliveries to Ukraine. How momentous is this moment? Did Scholz dither and cave to pressure, or did he drive a hard bargain to make sure Berlin did not go out on a limb alone?
As German media were breaking the story, the United States was granting Scholz his wish: the sending of US-made Abrams tanks, which come on top of UK Challenger 2 battle tanks. Is this a new phase for NATO's main supplier, or a symbolic gesture to cover the Germans?
The German-made Leopard is Europe's workhorse tank. Berlin’s green light opens the door for the likes of Poland, Finland and others to provide their own. Will tanks change the outcome on the battlefield? And how will Russia respond to a new upping of the ante by Ukraine's allies?
Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.
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