Germany had refused to supply 100 Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) to Ukraine, German news outlet Welt reported on April 3.
Ukrainian sources told Welt that Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov sent a letter to his German counterpart, Christine Lambrecht, asking for the IFVs and other heavy weaponry. However, Lambrecht rejected the request in a phone conversation with Reznikov .
The German Defence Ministry confirmed the Ukrainian request. However, it noted that all Marder IFVs are bound by NATO commitments, therefore their withdrawal from positions would then have to be resolved within NATO.
The Marder, which was developed more than fifty years ago, can carry up to nine personnel and has an operation range 520 kilometers.
The IFV is armed with a 20 mm Rheinmetall MK 20 Rh 202 automatic cannon MILAN ATGM [anti-tank guided missile] launcher and a 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun. The vehicle went through a number of upgrades that included fitting night vision equipment and a thermal imager, as well as an upgraded ammunition feed to the main cannon.
Germany has been supplying weapons to Kiev forces since the beginning of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine. The weapons supplied by Germany included hundreds of Stinger anti-aircraft missile systems and Panzerfaust-3 anti-tank rocket-propelled grenades.
On April 1, Germany announced that it had cleared a planned transfer of 56 Pbv-501 IFVs, which are upgraded ex-East German Soviet-made BMP-1s, from the Czech Republic to Ukraine.
Germany’s refusal to supply Ukraine with Marder IFV was clearly the result of a technical issue, not a shift in Berlin’s policy. Like the rest of Western states backing Kiev forces, Germany hopes that its military support to end up foiling the Russian special operation in Ukraine. In reality this support is just prolonging the war.