It is not often that we see strange phenomena in the Armed Forces, but today we have such an opportunity regarding the possible shipment of Leopard 2 to Ukraine.
Spain joins the plan to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine
As I already pointed out here yesterday, that several NATO countries have decided to send some of their most modern tanks to Ukraine is excellent news. The Spanish government has joined this aid program today, something I celebrate. Precisely, what I have been denouncing for months from this website is that Spain has been sending Ukraine less military aid than it should. It is, in fact, one of the NATO countries that has sent the least military aid in proportion to its resources.
The pro-government newspaper El País, to which the government of Pedro Sánchez has been leaking information regarding the possible sending of military aid to the Ukrainians to defend themselves against the Russian invaders, publishes a piece of news today stating that Spain joins the European plan to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine. The news item states: "The Spanish Army has one of the most Leopard battle tanks, 347 in total. Of this figure, 239 correspond to the Leopard 2E model, manufactured in Spain and equivalent to the German A6; and 108 are Leopard 2 A4, which were bought second-hand from Germany in 1995."
20 of the Leopard 2A4s in storage are in an "acceptable" state
In August we already saw that 53 of these Leopard 2A4s are stored at the facilities of the Agrupación de Apoyo Logístico nº41 (AALOG 41) in Casetas (Zaragoza). Going back to the news from El País, the most interesting thing is the following: "The tanks in Zaragoza were subject to a meticulous inspection during the summer and around 20 of them would be in an acceptable state, while a similar number would need to be rebuilt, according to military sources." This figure coincides with the information published by that newspaper in June, which read: "Defense sources estimate that about 40 tanks could be rehabilitated and delivered to the Ukrainian Army, but they warn that this would require them to be tuned up."
In August the government ruled out sending those tanks, saying their condition was "absolutely pitiful"
Taking these figures into account, the information published today by El País is very disconcerting. And it is that on August 2, 2022, the Defense Minister, Margarita Robles, ruled out shipment of stored Leopard 2A4s stating that "they are in an absolutely pitiful situation" . The minister added that these tanks "are in conditions that cannot be used and we cannot give them away because they would be a risk to people", statements that were published by the Efe government agency.
El País does not indicate that these tanks have undergone any repair since then, so we are dealing with a strange phenomenon: tanks that were in "an absolutely regrettable situation" and that were "a risk for the people" just six months ago, now they are in an "acceptable" situation according to a newspaper that always has a direct connection with the government. One would have to wonder what miracle has happened with these tanks in recent months. Of course, there is another possible explanation: that the government lied, as it already has by habit.
Sánchez's alliance with a "pro-Russian party" that opposes military aid to Ukraine
The same day that the refusal of the government of Pedro Sánchez to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine became known, I already pointed out his true reasons here: Pedro Sánchez governs with the communists of Podemos, a party that was described as a "pro-Russian party" by the Russian pro-government daily Pravda.ru in 2014 due to its constant alignment with the foreign policy of the Kremlin. This far-left party has consistently opposed sending military aid to Ukraine.
Just today, Minister Ione Belarra, of Podemos, has reiterated her criticism of this military aid saying that "it will contribute to an escalation of warfare" and adding: "Peace will be born through dialogue and negotiation." In short: Podemos wants Ukraine to yield to Putin and for the invasion to be profitable for the Russian dictator. And that is incompatible with helping the invaded. It is worth asking to what extent the Socialists have ended up endorsing the position of their government partners. Let's remember that Sánchez has continued to buy large quantities of Russian gas while prohibiting its extraction in Spain and while sending meager aid to Ukraine to look good before NATO.
The question that Sánchez and his government should ask themselves now is this: how many Ukrainian lives has cost that lie from the government that has delayed sending those tanks to Ukraine for six months? That country has been requesting these tanks from Spain for 8 months, and the only thing he has received so far from the government of Pedro Sánchez are excuses.
Photo: Boletín Tierra nº202. The Leopard 2A4 of the Spanish Army stored in Casetas (Zaragoza) in 2012.
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