Poland/Ukraine – After several weeks of talks, Poland has now delivered its first four German-made Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine, out of a promised total of 14, alongside 60 additional PT-91 Twardy tanks, a Polish-made, modernized version of the old Soviet T-72 tank.
Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki chose the symbolic date of 24 February, which marked the first anniversary of the start of Russia’s fully-fledged war against Ukraine, to visit Kyiv once again while the four Polish Leopard 2 tanks were being delivered to the Ukrainian armed forces. Here are Morawiecki’s own words about the event:
“… Poland, which for 365 days has been supporting Ukrainians in their struggle for freedom and independence, is delivering – as the first European country as well as the leader of the coalition that is giving Leopards to Ukraine – the first four Leopard 2A4 tanks to our friends from the East!
24 February 2022 made history. It was supposed to be the beginning of Russia’s march to the West, and instead became the beginning of its defeat.
That’s why I’m in Kyiv today – the capital of freedom and a country that for 365 days has not only been fighting for its independence, but is a symbol of the defence of all the Western world’s ideals.
I am here to pay tribute to all the fighting heroes of Ukraine, who are defending not only their homeland, but also Poland and Europe. I am here to tell every Ukrainian: you are not and will not be alone!
I am also here to assure all Ukrainian soldiers that their women and children are safe in Poland.
For the past three decades, we have lived under the belief that freedom can be bought, security can be achieved effortlessly, and Russia can be cajoled with money from the trading of energy commodities. A year ago, these geopolitical assumptions were smashed like Putin’s dreams of a parade in Kyiv.
Over the past year, the Kremlin dictator has learned that the Ukrainian people not only exist without Soviet Russia, but are capable – with Western support – of defeating the Kremlin barbarians.
The Russki Mir [the Russian concept of a “Russian world” encompassing all eastern Slavs, ed.] must be defeated! And it will lose – thanks to the solidarity that already defeated communism once, and thanks to the solidarity of the Polish and Ukrainian peoples and all those supporting Ukraine in this struggle between good and evil!
There will come a day when instead of fighting, we will rebuild Europe anew, but today we must support Ukraine with all our might!
Until the final victory!”
On the same anniversary, Kyiv’s mayor Vitali Klitschko thanked Germany in a video published in English on his social networks for its promise to deliver another batch of Leopard tanks to Ukraine.