Fuming Kremlin propagandists threatened nuclear strikes on the West today after Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine. One high-profile Putin mouthpiece demanded Berlin’s Bundestag parliament should be reduced to radioactive ash in retaliation.
It comes after dithering German chancellor Olaf Scholz folded to international pressure and direct pleas from president Volodymyr Zelensky. He will now send a squadron of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, and allow Nato allies to re-export dozens more.
The Kremlin today hit back saying any tanks supplied by Germany and the US will “burn like all the rest”. And raging Moscow TV pundit Yevgeny Satanovsky said warheads should be launched on the center of German democracy.
He said: “German tanks with crosses on their armor will again march across Ukraine attacking Russian soldiers. “I have a natural reaction to this – the Soviet Union bombed Berlin in 1941.
“And to me, this is a signal that the Reichstag, or Bundestag, which now replaces the Reichstag, simply should not remain standing any longer. “Flat, slightly radioactive, melted-down ground [will remain in its place].”
Another of Putin’s favorite propagandists, TV host Vladimir Solovyov, claimed it meant Germany had joined the war. He ranted “It’s time to send a clear, resolute message that we now consider Germany a direct party to the conflict, rekindling memories of WW2.
“German tanks appearing [in Ukraine] will definitely mean we consider German territory, military bases, and other sites as legitimate targets.”
The UK is already sending 14 Challenger 2s, answering Zelenksy’s plea for more modern weaponry. PM Rishi Sunak welcomed Germany’s decision, saying the new heavy armor “will strengthen Ukraine’s defensive firepower”.
Mr. Scholz had held back from supplying Leopards, fearing it could trigger World War Three. But he finally relented today amid huge international pressure.
He will now send 14 Leopard 2s, plus spare parts and ammo, and lift a ban on other countries sending theirs. Poland, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Spain were waiting for Berlin’s permission to send some of their fleets to Ukraine.
Reports said furious allies were ramping up the pressure and threatened to defy Berlin by sending tanks without permission. “This decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the best of our ability,” said Mr. Scholz today.
“We are acting in a closely coordinated manner internationally.”
Germany’s Leopards, fielded by armies across Europe, are widely seen as the best option as they are available in large numbers and easy to deploy and maintain. Around 2,000 Leopard 2 tanks are in use by Ukraine’s allies. Other countries that use Leopards include Canada, Sweden, and the Netherlands, which have all sent weapons to Ukraine.