German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius attends the annual conference of the German Armed Forces Bundeswehr in Berlin, Germany, 10 November 2023EPA-EFE/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE


Germany doubles military aid for Ukraine


Germany will double its 2024 military support for Ukraine to €8 billion, says defence minister Boris Pistorius.

Germany is one of Ukraine’s biggest donors and has already donated €22 billion in humanitarian, financial and military aid. Its 2024 budget had previously included €4 billion in military aid to Ukraine, but previous commitments absorbed all but €120 million.

The increase sends an “important signal at a time when Ukraine must continue its fight, while international attention is focused on Israel and Gaza”, he says.

Germany is sometimes criticised for being cautious in its aid. It has resisted giving Ukraine long-range Taurus missiles it requested, fearing their use to target Russian territory, and stalled in delivering its heavy Leopard tanks.

Since 2023, however, Germany has stepped up delivery of light and heavy tanks, munitions, and anti-aircraft defence systems.

News outlets had quoted anonymous insiders saying Germany wanted to designate the extra aid as defence spending, thereby ensuring it would meet Nato’s two per cent defence budget requirement in 2024.

Ukraine’s fight seems to have evolved into a stalemate, says the country’s commander in chief, Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

The second half of this year has seen heavy fighting, but territorial shifts have been modest. With winter ahead, the frontline is thought unlikely to shift soon.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the country should prepare for winter, amid fears that Russia may recommence its strikes on energy installations.