Ukrainian soldiers perform well in Leopard 2 training, soon to be put into combat | Reuters

A German Leopard 2 main battle tank piloted by a soldier from the Ukrainian army fires at a target during a European Union (EU) military drill for Ukraine in Bergen, northern Germany, March 14. repeating exercises. Pictured is Leopard 2 tank training by the Bundeswehr. Photo provided (2023 REUTERS/Bundeswehr)

BERGEN TRAINING RANGE, Germany (Reuters) – German-made Leopard 2 main battle tanks piloted by soldiers from the Ukrainian army are being used during EU military training for Ukraine in Bergen, northern Germany. , repeating exercises to fire at targets. They are scheduled to return to the front line with Leopard 2 in a few days, and are expected to be the trump card to break the war.

On top of a hill overlooking the entire exercise, Lieutenant General Hervé Brejean, who was in charge of the exercise, raised his voice against the roar of gunfire and once again praised the excellence of the Leopard 2 to the reporters. He explained that the tsunami of more than 300,000 Russian troops has put the Ukrainian frontline in the most dangerous position since the beginning of the war, and said, “If we can introduce a highly efficient tank like the Leopard, “It will allow us to open up a breakthrough and think about a counteroffensive,” he said, adding that the Leopard 2 would be a key element in Ukraine’s spring offensive.

Germany agreed in January to give Ukraine the Leopard 2, considered one of the best tanks in the West. Defense Minister Pistorius said last week that all 18 pledged Leopard 2A6s would be delivered to Ukraine in March.

Ukrainian soldiers were required to learn to operate the Leopard 2 in just six weeks, and German trainers said they were satisfied with the results.

One of the officials in charge said, “We hit more than 80% of the targets (during the exercise), which is a really good result for such a short training period.”

However, it was also necessary to erase some of the conventional tank operation methods from the mind. Another official said they initially tried to turn the Leopard 2 instead of retreating, because Russian tanks, to which Ukrainian soldiers were accustomed, could only retreat slowly, making them vulnerable to enemy fire. rice field. However, the Leopard 2 can rapidly retreat while firing, keeping its thicker frontal armor facing the enemy.

Since the Leopard 2 is also equipped with excellent night vision equipment, the Ukrainian soldiers have also undergone nighttime training to maximize its strengths.

A Ukrainian artilleryman warned the Russians to wait for the arrival of the Leopard 2. “A friend of mine who works in Ukrainian intelligence told me that the Russian military is in great turmoil because of the Leopard 2. This will allow us to achieve the turnaround needed and the Leopard 2. Other Ukrainian military units fighting alongside will feel more reassured.”