‘What next, pillows?’ Ukraine ridicules Germany for sending helmets instead of weapons

Ukraine mocks Germany for sending helmets to Ukraine forces

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Germany has been mocked in Ukraine after Berlin offered to step up its support of the country by sending 5,000 helmets. NATO allies like the US have put 8,500 troops on a heightened alert to mobilise to Europe while the UK is considering sending hundreds more troops to bolster NATO’s flank. Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv and a former world heavyweight boxing champion, mocked Germany’s offer as a “joke”.

In a furious response, the Ukrainian politician told German media: “The behaviour of the German government leaves me speechless.

“The defence ministry apparently hasn’t realised that we are confronted with perfectly equipped Russian forces that can start another invasion of Ukraine at any time.

“What kind of support will Germany send next, pillows?”

While Ukraine has requested military support, the country’s ambassador in Berlin had urged the German government to at least send 100,000 helmets and protective vests.

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Germany’s defence minister, Christine Lambrecht, announced on Wednesday that Berlin would instead supply just 5,000 military helmets.

She said the offer sent “a very clear signal: we are on your side”.

The offer will do little to ease concerns in Ukraine, where more than 100,000 Russian troops have been deployed along its border.

New German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has faced heavy criticism at home and abroad over his relatively cautious approach to the crisis.

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One diplomatic source in Brussels told The Guardian said the German response was “really weak”.

Last weekend, Ms Lambrecht insisted that sending arms to Ukraine would not be helpful.

However, Mr Klitschko did have warm words to say about the UK, after Liz Truss said the UK would not rule out support for personal sanctions against Vladimir Putin.

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Mr Klitschko personally “thanked” Britain for standing by Ukraine at its hour of need. 

In the UK, Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg publicly criticised Germany’s refusal to allow the UK to fly in their airspace to transport military aid to Ukraine.

He said: “The divisions within the West are quite serious, I mean it’s extraordinary that Germany would not allow British flights to fly over German territory to take some weapons to the Ukrainians.”

Many NATO allies have pulled together in spite of Germany’s reluctance, with the latest proposal to set up 1,000-strong battlegroups in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia, according to Sky News.

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