BERLIN (AP) — Germany faced mounting pressure to supply battle tanks to Kyiv and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy aired frustration about not obtaining enough weaponry as Western allies conferred Thursday on how best to support Ukraine nearly 11 months into Russia's invasion.
Just hours into his tenure, Germany's new defense minister, Boris Pistorius, welcomed U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Berlin. He declared that German weapons systems delivered so far have proven their worth and that “we will continue in the future, together with our partners, to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom, territorial independence and sovereignty.”
He didn't, however, immediately mention the Leopard 2 tanks that Ukraine has long sought. Since the United Kingdom announced last week that it will send Challenger 2 tanks, Berlin has faced increasing pressure to supply battle tanks or at least clear the way for others — such as Poland — to deliver German-made Leopards from their own stock.
Austin is to host a regular coordination meeting of top defense officials from Ukraine's Western allies at the United States' Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Friday. He said that “we'll renew our united commitment to support Ukraine's self-defense for the long haul,” but didn't mention any specific new equipment.
Speaking by video link to a breakfast meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Zelenskyy offered a veiled critique of major supporters such as Germany and the United States that have nonetheless hesitated about sending tanks.
He bemoaned a “lack of specific weaponry” and said that to win the war, “we cannot just do it with motivation and morale.”
Speaking at the Victor Pinchuk Foundation breakfast through an interpreter, he said: "There are times where we shouldn’t hesitate or we shouldn’t compare when someone says, ‘I will give tanks if someone else will also share his tanks.’”
For months, Ukraine has sought to be supplied with heavier vehicles such as the German-made Leopard 2 and U.S. Abrams tanks, but Western leaders have been treading carefully.
Germany has been particularly in focus in recent days. Critics, some inside Germany’s governing coalition, have long complained of Chancellor OIaf Scholz’s perceived hesitancy to take the next step when it comes to weapons deliveries.
Scholz has been wary of such pressure, insisting that Germany wouldn’t go it alone and pointing to a need to ensure that NATO doesn’t become a party to the war with Russia, though every time so far Berlin has eventually moved ahead. He has portrayed his cautious weighing of each step as a virtue.
In Davos on Wednesday, Scholz avoided directly answering a question about Leopard tanks, saying that Germany will remain one of Ukraine's top weapons suppliers and that "we are never doing something just by ourselves, but together with others — especially the United States.”
German officials have conveyed their hesitancy to allow allies to give German-made Leopards unless the U.S. also sends Ukraine the Abrams, according to a U.S. official who was not authorized to comment and spoke on the condition of anonymity. An upcoming new package of U.S. military aid is expected to include nearly 100 Stryker combat vehicles and at least 50 Bradley armored vehicles — but not the Abrams, which U.S. officials says has complex maintenance needs and may not be the best fit.
Austin said on Twitter that he plans also to meet Scholz's chief of staff, Wolfgang Schmidt, while in Berlin.
“I think this isn’t about avoiding going it alone any more, but about avoiding being alone,” Wolfgang Ischinger, a former German ambassador to the U.S., said on Deutschlandfunk radio of the calls for German tank deliveries.
Some eastern NATO allies have provided Soviet-era T-72 tanks to Ukrainian forces, but officials acknowledge that supplies of Soviet-era equipment with which Ukrainian forces were already familiar are limited.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine’s Western backers this week will discuss ways to supply heavier and more advanced weapons.
“The main message there will be: more support, more advanced support, heavier weapons and more modern weapons,” Stoltenberg said of Friday's meeting.
Defense ministers from Britain, Poland and the Baltic nations were to meet on Thursday afternoon in Estonia ahead of that gathering.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said Thursday that his country has decided to send up to 50 Swedish-made combat vehicles plus an anti-tank robot and the Archer artillery system to Ukraine.
Estonia announced what it said it is largest military aid package to date, including howitzers, ammunition, artillery support equipment and grenade launchers.
Jamey Keaten reported from Davos, Switzerland. Associated Press reporter Aamer Madhani in Washington contributed to this report.
Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
Her study looked at not just the storms but the problems that back-to-back hurricanes caused to people. In both situations, the frequency of back-to-back storms increased dramatically from current expectations. The study looked heavily at the impacts of storms more than just the storms themselves. But Lin said it’s just the nastier nature and size that increases the likelihood of back-to-back storms hitting roughly the same area. Some, including Corbosiero, say it is hard to say for sure that the back-to-back trend is already happening.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
But most experts have seen no indication of mass deaths or famine in North Korea. It’s unclear whether North Korea will take any significant steps to address food shortages. But North Korea rarely comes up with such measures,” said Nam Sung-wook, a professor at Korea University in South Korea. North Korea needs about 5.5 million tons of grain to feed its 25 million people annually, so it’s short about 1 million tons this year. Efforts by North Korean authorities to tighten controls and restrict market activities have also worsened the situation, he said.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
“Dilbert” creator Scott Adams experienced possibly the biggest repercussion of recent racist comments when a major comics syndicator, which also operates the GoComics website, announced Sunday it would no longer work with the cartoonist. Andrews McMeel Universal said in a statement that the syndication company was “severing" their relationship with Adams. In a YouTube episode released Monday, Scott Adams said that new “Dilbert” strips will only be available on his subscription service on the Locals platform. Adams, who is white, repeatedly referred to people who are Black as members of a “hate group” or a “racist hate group” and said he would no longer “help Black Americans." "But you should also avoid any group that doesn’t respect you, even if there are people within the group who are fine,” Adams said.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
They’re more likely to occur from May through August, particularly during periods of high heat — making the December derecho so uncommon. A 2009 storm dubbed a Super Derecho by the National Weather Service traveled from western Kansas to eastern Kentucky. A 2003 derecho traveled from Arkansas through several southern states, including Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. The weather service said a progressive derecho is fueled by a hot and moist environment with relatively strong winds aloft. They sweep across an area both long and wide, driven by the presence of very strong winds in the atmosphere.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
Speed around a French village in the video game Gran Turismo and you might spot a Corvette behind you trying to catch your slipstream. But in some instances, they are also trying to learn how to get smarter in the real world. “It’s probably not going to be one big breakthrough and that everything is going to be shifted to the real world,” Volz said. Japanese electronics giant Sony launched its own AI research division in 2020 with entertainment in mind, but it's nonetheless attracted broader academic attention. Peter Wurman, director of Sony AI America and project lead on GT Sophy, said it takes about two weeks for AI agents to train on 20 PlayStations.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
Instead, Universal Pictures' “Cocaine Bear” rampaged through multiplexes, scoring notably above expectations. Made for about $35 million and directed by Elizabeth Banks, “Cocaine Bear” stirred up plenty of buzz just from its title and its made-to-go-viral trailer. "Snakes on a Plane," a movie many compared to “Cocaine Bear,” opened with $13.9 million in 2006. In just about the epitome of counterprogramming to “Cocaine Bear,” Lionsgate's “Jesus Revolution” also debuted strongly. “Cocaine Bear,” $23.1 million.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
The SAG Awards, often an Oscar preview, threw some curve balls into the Oscars race in a ceremony streamed live on Netflix's YouTube page from Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles. “This is not just for me," said Yeoh, the first Asian actress to win the SAG Award for female lead. He's also the first Asian to win best male supporting actor at the SAG Awards. The SAG Awards are considered one of the most reliable Oscar bellwethers. After the SAG Awards, presented by the film and television acting guild SAG-AFTRA, lost their broadcast home at TNT/TBS, Netflix signed on to stream Sunday's ceremony.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
FONTANA, Calif. — Most of NASCAR's Cup Series drivers feel like they're saying their final goodbye to a dear old friend this weekend. Fontana won't host a NASCAR weekend in 2024, and the new setup might not be ready until 2026 — if it happens at all. "And here's the part that makes me feel a little better about it: Yes, the racing here is spectacular. No problemGiven their familiarity with this circuit, the drivers aren't concerned after the weather kept them off the track Saturday. "It would be a different question if this was last year and we had a brand-new racing car."27 days ago Fremont Tribune