PoliticsBattle tanks: what supporters and opponents say

Battle tanks: what supporters and opponents say


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Is it true that Germany supplied battle tanks to Ukraine? The majority say yes. But many also have their doubts – especially in East Germany. From where?

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Volker Nick went to jail for peace. In 1983, together with activists from around the world, he protested against NATO’s two-way decision and the deployment of medium-range nuclear missiles in his homeland of Mutlangen in Swabia. To this day he is a pacifist and refuses to supply war tanks to Ukraine.

The narrative is this: Those who oppose the arms shipment are leaving Ukraine. And I don’t want to be told that. Nobody wants this. But I am saying right now that what our politicians are doing is not helping Ukraine. We can only hope that Putin does not escalate to nuclear.

Volker Nick, pacifist from Mutlangen

Making peace with guns?

Stephan Buck is not afraid of a nuclear war. He is a member of the Greens in the Alb-Donau region. It is clear to him: the West must put Putin in his place.

Here we have a president who wants to destroy a country. This cannot happen in the spirit of Europe. Yes, guns are terrible, but watching a country go bad is also terrible.

Stephan Buck, Green Alb-Danube

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Party mate Susanne Wucher does not believe that tanks will bring peace to Ukraine. The road to peace opens not with more arms shipments, but with political negotiations.

Greens suddenly favor arms shipments

From this point of view, he is in the minority in his party. According to the ZDF Politbarometer, 73 percent of Greens supporters, more than any other party, support the delivery of battle tanks.

Survey results on the opinion of the supply of tanks to Ukraine.

Winfried Kretschmann, the Green Party’s Prime Minister in Baden-Württemberg, was not surprised by the overwhelming approval. “The shipment of arms to Ukraine is absolutely necessary and a requirement of solidarity. We decided on these issues in the Kosovo conflict in 1999,” he says.

It rocked the party a bit, but we’re done.

Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg

SPD also struggles over arms deliveries

In the SPD, the problem of tank deliveries is noticeably more difficult. Willy Brand and Helmut Schmidt’s Ostpolitik was characterized by steps towards softening and shaped the party’s foreign policy identity for decades.

This also becomes clear at the SPD discussion camp in Leipzig. Erika Friedrichs is dissatisfied with the German government’s decision to deliver the Leopard 2 tanks now.

It’s better to talk 1000 times than deliver a gun!

Erika Friedrichs, SPD member

East Germany shaped by Russia?

This is how many people in the East German federal states see it. Only 35 percent favor the supply of main battle tanks, and there is great fear of directly engaging in combat.

“We are ‘Russian (…). People remember the stories their parents told about how Soviet tanks passed through the country,” says Astrid Riechmann of the SPD in Saxony. Therefore, the fear that Russia might retaliate for the West’s arms shipments is particularly evident in the East.

Right-wing extremists are appropriating people’s concerns

Right-wing extremists and conspiracy ideologues have long sought to exploit fears and turn them into political anger. But there is resistance to it.

With the slogan “Leipzig shines”, about 2 thousand people took to the streets for democracy and humanity. There is a great understanding of the need for arms shipments.

If the other side escalates, what should you do about it? Human lives are at stake and Ukraine’s strengthening of its negotiating position, and weapons are part of that.

Sven Poller, participant in “Leipzig shines”

Is it right to supply main battle tanks to Ukraine? There are silent nuances of those who say yes or no to this question out loud, as well as those who struggle with themselves. Doctor Michael Hauser is a Protestant priest and religious teacher. He has been campaigning for disarmament since his youth. “I was in Estonia the other day and was wondering about a priest friend of mine. He is now the head of the militia. I was always willing to live without my military armor, but right now I am undecided,” he says.

The tragedy is that if we don’t supply tanks and Russia continues, there will probably be more casualties.

Evangelical priest and religious teacher Michael Hauser

Anniversary of the Ukrainian attack

February 24 is the anniversary of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Germany is also arguing over arms shipments – partly because it fears being drawn into the war. The question is whether people can listen to those concerned this time. And to separate them from those who want to abuse their fear.

In any case, the discussion about main battle tanks should not be the last. Now about the warplanes. The federal government doesn’t want to take this step – it’s made that clear so far. Those who are skeptical of the arms shipment should calm down for now.

You can find the latest news about the Russian attack on Ukraine anytime on our live blog:

Source: ZDF

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I am Timothy Glover, a professional journalist and content creator. I specialize in writing and editing for news websites, specifically covering politics. I have been working as an author at News Unrolled for the past five years and have built up a reputation for producing quality content that is both informative and engaging.


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