Boris Pistorius traveled to the war zone for the first time in his new position. He paid his respects to the Ukrainian fighters – and made an announcement.
Defense Minister Boris Pistorius traveled unannounced to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Defense Minister Oleksiy Resnikov shared a photo of himself and the SPD politician on Twitter and wrote: “The ‘first’ Leopard 2 has arrived in Kyiv.” He thanked Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Minister Pistorius and the German citizens. ” The tank coalition is marching … to victory!” said Reznikov. In the picture, the two ministers are holding a model tank in their hands.
“Above all, it’s clear to me how proud we can be – also as Germany. What we’re doing here. After the USA, together with Great Britain, Germany is the biggest supporter of Ukraine,” said Pistorius during his visit. The fact that the impression is repeatedly given that Germany is doing less than others, or at least not enough, annoys him. In Kyiv, the minister met Resnikov and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Reznikov called Pistorius a “friend of Ukraine”. “When Boris occupied the ministerial post, the armored coalition was born,” he said while presenting medals to his soldiers.
Pistorius announces large tank delivery
Pistorius had an announcement with him: After the decision to deliver Leopard 2 main battle tanks, European countries also want to make Leopard 1 available for a total of three battalions – more than 100 tanks in total. The “Spiegel” had previously reported on the plans. Read more here.
In Kyiv, Pistorius also spoke to the Ukrainian soldiers who are leaving for Germany to be trained on the Leopard. The German Press Agency (dpa) reported an emotional moment: Many of the men have just come from the front, some from the bitter fighting for the city of Bachmut in the east of the country, which today has fewer than 8,000 inhabitants. Pain and determination are still written all over their faces. Pistorius noticed that too.
“A Lesson in Courage and Resilience”
“The people of Ukraine are teaching the world a lesson in courage and resilience. We all look at their achievements with humility and respect,” the minister told the troops. Comrades were waiting in Germany who wanted to prepare them as best they could. “This cold-blooded war, Russia’s desire to conquer and destroy, shocks us.” He was deeply impressed by the soldiers’ task of opposing this.
Pistorius traveled via Rzeszow in Poland and visited the central hub for arms deliveries there on Monday. “Camp Nightingale” on the outskirts of the civilian airport is heavily defended and surrounded by Patriot positions.
The visit to Kyiv was the first major trip abroad by the defense minister, who was sworn in almost three weeks ago. For security reasons, the whereabouts were initially kept secret.