Germany has been reluctant to provide Ukraine with military aid in the early days of the Russian invasion due to several critical factors, including Berlin’s complicated history with Moscow and its reliance on Russian energy. Let’s say they were treading on thin ice.

But as the war drags on for seemingly months on end, Germany’s position gradually changes in favor of Ukraine. It has been working alongside the United States on providing billions worth of security assistance to help Kyiv defend against Moscow’s brutal subjugation.

And to further demonstrate its support, Germany announced additional military aid worth over 2.7 billion euros—or nearly $3 billion, on Sunday, May 14.

Germany’s Renewed Aid

According to the defense ministry, this security package is Berlin’s largest yet since the onset of the Russian invasion. It will include the pledged Leopard 2 main battle tanks, armored vehicles, anti-aircraft systems, ammunition, and other military equipment.

The renewed aid came shortly after the first visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Germany since the invasion took place in February last year.

In a statement, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius expressed his hopes for the rapid end of this “terrible war” and that Berlin is serious about its support to Kyiv.

Germany will provide all the help it can, as long as it takes,” Pistorius said, indicating that the two nations have resolved their earlier rocky patch.

After overcoming its hesitance, Germany joined other Western countries in imposing sanctions on Russia to respond to its aggression against Ukraine. Berlin also began sending weaponry and ammunition to strengthen the Ukrainian troops on the battlefield.

However, some have criticized Germany for being too slow to act and not providing enough—a sign that its reluctance still lingers—an example of this is its resistance to sending Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Like the American M1 Abrams, Zelenskyy also pleaded for the German tanks. After weeks of pressure from allies, Berlin eventually relented and approved re-exports of the tank from other operating nations. Meanwhile, as expected, Russia was infuriated by the decision and slammed Germany for its decision.

Nonetheless, as months passed and the war continued to drag on, Berlin made significant shifts in its foreign policy and has now taken a more active role in defending security interests, as well as promoting democracy and human rights in Europe.

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Quick Recap on Berlin’s Support

As of this month, Germany has already delivered a significant amount of arms and equipment to Ukraine, including dozens of anti-tank weapons, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Panzerfaust 3 anti-tank weapons, armored vehicles, Gepard anti-aircraft guns, self-propelled howitzers, armored reconnaissance vehicles, IRIS-T SLM air defense systems, surveillance drones, thousands of different types of ammunitions, medical supplies, among many others. The country has also provided financial aid and training for the Ukrainian soldiers on using some of its equipment.

The recent additional military aid package will reportedly include 30 Leopard 1 A5 tanks, 20 Marder armored personnel carriers, more than 100 combat vehicles, 18 self-propelled Howitzers, 200 reconnaissance drones, four IRIS-T SLM anti-aircraft systems, and other air defense equipment, as first reported by Der Spiegel.

The US remains the prominent supporter of Ukraine, providing an additional military aid package worth $1.2 billion earlier this month. This brings the total security assistance to a whopping $37.6 billion, including over $36.9 billion since the onset of the Russian invasion.

Other significant donors include the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Poland, all sending aid packages for military, humanitarian, and financial needs. Through this, Ukrainians could continue their fight against its aggressive neighbor by replenishing its frontline combatants’ rapidly depleting supplies. The aid also provided food, shelter, and clothing for its citizens displaced by war.

Furthermore, these countries imposed sanctions to isolate Russia from the rest of the international community and to hamper its economy, making its war efforts to invade Ukraine more difficult.

Zelenskyy’s recent visit to Germany was just one of the many stops he made in his ongoing European tour that yielded new military support pledges. Ukraine is gearing up for its spring counteroffensive against illegally occupying Russian forces, which prompted Kyiv for fresh batches of guns and ammo.

After his brief discussion in Germany, Zelenskyy flew to Paris to meet French President Emmanuel Macron. He also gained reassurance of France’s unwavering support in its efforts to defend its land and rebuild Ukraine back to its former glory once it’s over.

Book recommendation: Despite sharing a common border, Ukraine and Russia have always had a complicated, often troubled relationship that has been going on for centuries. In his book “The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine,” renowned historian Serhii Plokhy takes us to the long history of turmoil between these two countries and explains why the current crisis in Ukraine is a case of history repeating itself. So grab your copy today and go deep into what’s beneath Europe’s least-known large country.