German Government delivers air defence system to Kiev

Germany’s traffic light coalition government is supporting the escalation of the NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine with further arms deliveries to Kiev and a reinforcement of its own war offensive.

“Germany delivers the first of four IRIS-T SLM air defence systems to Ukraine,” announced the Ministry of Defense on Tuesday via Twitter. “The recent Russian missile attacks on Kiev and other cities” has shown “how important this capability is for the self-defence of Ukraine.”

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksi Resnikov praised German arms supplies, stating, “A new era of air defence has begun in Ukraine. IRIS-Ts from Germany are already here. The American NASAMS are coming. This is only the beginning. And we need more. No doubt that Russia is a terrorist state.”

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In a further tweet, he expressed his “personal thanks” to his “German colleague,” Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD), for “her partnership and strong commitment to supporting Ukraine” and assured, “We will win.”

The system produced by the German defence company Diehl Defence is one of the most modern air defence systems and, according to the manufacturer, is suitable for 360-degree all-round defence against aircraft, helicopters, drones, cruise missiles and short-range ballistic missiles. Even the German army does not yet have IRIS-T systems.

Diehl IRIS-T SLM launcher (Matti Blume, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons) [Photo]

The delivery of the system is part of the massive war escalation that is currently being organized by the leading NATO powers and increases the risk of a nuclear third world war. Just a few days ago, US President Joe Biden warned against a “nuclear Armageddon.” Now the war is being fuelled massively.

At the beginning of the latest meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced an expansion of NATO states’ military production capacities. “The longer this war lasts, the more important it is that we are able to replenish supplies,” he said. In the war against Russia, Ukraine needs a “wide range of different systems. They need almost everything.”

Germany is playing an increasingly prominent role in the flooding of Ukraine with deadly military equipment. According to the official list of the German government on “military support services for Ukraine,” the following further arms deliveries are planned or already on their way:

  • 16 Zusana armoured howitzers (joint project with Denmark and Norway)
  • 130 field heaters
  • 36 ambulances
  • 10 Bridge systems (heavy and medium bridge systems)
  • 90 heavy-duty semitrailers
  • 4 self-propelled howitzers 2000 with ammunition package
  • 2 multiple rocket launchers MARS II with ammunition
  • 50 Dingo armoured Transport Vehicles
  • 167,000 rounds of handgun ammunition
  • 12 M1070 Oshkosh heavy-duty semitrailers
  • 20 70mm rocket launchers on pickup trucks with 2000 rockets
  • 255 rounds of 155mm Vulcano artillery ammunition
  • 30,000 rounds of 40mm ammunition
  • 5032 antitank handguns
  • 200 commercial truck vehicles
  • 24 drone defence systems
  • 16 BEAVER bridge-laying tanks

The delivery of heavy battle tanks is also being prepared. Before the meeting of NATO defence ministers began, the chairman of the federal parliament’s (Bundestag) Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael Roth (Social Democrats, SPD), calculated that 13 European states had a total of 2,000 Leopard 2 tanks. He therefore suggests that “together we put together a contingent of Leopard 2 tanks, which we then deliver to Ukraine as quickly as possible.”

The proposal was immediately supported by the Chairman of the Defence Committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (Free Democrats). In addition, she reiterated her demand on Deutschlandfunk radio to also provide Ukraine with Marder infantry fighting vehicles from the German armed forces. These are now urgently needed by the Ukrainian army, especially on the southern front, she claimed. Russia’s approach is pure “terror” and “beastly.”

Coming from the mouth of a leading German warmonger, this is repulsive and hypocritical. Putin’s invasion is reactionary and corresponds to the unscrupulous interests of the capitalist oligarchy that has ruled the Kremlin since the Stalinist dissolution of the Soviet Union. But the Russian missile strikes do not come close to the destruction perpetrated by the US-led and German-backed wars in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, where entire countries have been destroyed and millions of people killed.

Above all, representatives of German imperialism should remain silent for all time when it comes to the question of war crimes. If anything was “bestial,” it was the crimes of German imperialism. During the Second World War, the Wehrmacht waged a war of extermination in the East, which claimed the lives of between 24 and 40 million inhabitants of the Soviet Union. Six million Jews were industrially killed in extermination camps. Some of the worst massacres—such as that of Babyn Yar, where a special commando unit shot 33,771 Jews in two days—occurred in Ukraine.

The official propaganda that today the war against Russia is about “self-defence of Ukraine” or even about “peace,” “democracy” and saving human lives is an absurdity. In reality, it is about the same predatory goals as then. The imperialist powers have provoked Putin’s invasion of Ukraine to defeat Russia militarily and exploit the resource-rich country. They cooperate with fascist forces in Kiev and use the Ukrainian population as cannon fodder.

The ruling class in Germany also sees the war as an opportunity to rise again to a leading military power despite its historical crimes. “As the most populous nation with the greatest economic power and a country in the middle of the continent, our army must become the cornerstone of conventional defence in Europe, the best-equipped military force in Europe,' said Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) at the recent German army (Bundeswehr) conference in September.

Berlin’s plans to organise Europe under German leadership are now being intensified. According to a report by Der Spiegel, “On the sidelines of the NATO Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Brussels headquarters, a joint declaration of intent will be signed by the European states wishing to participate in the common defence system against ballistic missiles and other aerial threats proposed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz.”

According to Der Spiegel, “the Israeli ‘Arrow’ system is likely to be purchased for missile defence.” The news magazine makes no secret of the fact that Germany is thus preparing for a potential nuclear war. The system is “designed to launch rockets beyond the Earth's atmosphere,” writes Der Spiegel. “Above all, incoming nuclear, biological or chemical missiles are to be destroyed safely by means of these so-called high shooters.”

Scholz already announced the establishment of a German-European missile system as part of the war escalation against Russia in March. It was “urgently necessary that we provide the Bundeswehr [Armed Forces] with more resources, with more tanks, more air defence capabilities, and enable it in many other ways so that it can perform the task it has to perform,” he explained on the ARD show “Anne Will” at the time. The multibillion-dollar project is now underway.