In Major Escalation, Germany Approves Delivery Of Infantry Carrier 'Tanks' To Ukraine

In a significant escalation that is sure to have huge impact not only on the prospect for direct Russia-NATO military confrontation but also Europe's energy crisis and natural gas showdown with Moscow, Germany has approved "tanks" for Ukraine

"Germany has approved the delivery of 56 combat tanks to Ukraine, a German defense ministry spokesperson told CNN Friday," according to a breaking report. But more specifically these are in actuality 'infantry fighting vehicles' - and lighter than what CNN is referencing as conventional "combat tanks".

The ministry described to CNN that "The tanks, which are type Pbv 501, stem from the Cold War-era East German army and had been sold to Sweden, then resold to the Czech Republic, who will deliver them to Ukraine."

Final approval is expected to come pending review by the country's Federal Security Council, as stipulated under the German War Weapons Control Act.

The 56 PbV-501 armored personnel carriers are expected to be equipped with cannons and machine guns. Reuters details the nature of the heavy armored vehicles as follows:

Germany has approved the delivery to Ukraine of several dozen infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) that originally belonged to the former communist East Germany amid criticism that Berlin is not sending enough military aid to Kyiv.

Berlin has given the green light for 56 vehicles of the type PbV-501 to be passed on from a Czech company to Kyiv, a spokesman for the defense ministry said on Friday.

So Germany has gone in a little over a month from being 'neutral' on weapons for foreign conflict, refusing to allow even third parties from shipping German-produced weapons to Ukraine, to now shipping some serious heavy military machinery. 

And even though these old east German troop carriers will do little to stand up to Russia's actual tank units, Kiev is likely to seize on this as at least a start leading possibly to the transfer of more up-to-date combat tanks from the West capable of blunting Russian infantry.