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Media: Nearly 100 Leopard 1 tanks stored in the open as Switzerland rejects transfer to Ukraine

by Rachel Amran and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 27, 2023 5:57 AM 2 min read
At least 95 Swiss tanks are stored in northeastern Italy. (Photo via RSI)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Almost 100 Swiss-made Leopard 1 tanks are being stored out in the open in Italy following Switzerland's refusal to allow their transfer to Ukraine, Swiss public broadcasting organization RSI reported on Aug. 26.

The Swiss company that owns the tanks, RUAG, wanted to sell the tanks to Germany for Ukraine but the Swiss government blocked the sale.

Earlier this summer, European Pravda reported that 96 non-operational Leopard 1 tanks that were designated to be sent to Germany to be modernized and delivered to Ukraine were blocked by Switzerland over the country's neutrality policy. As evidenced by the RSI photos, the tanks remain in Italy.

In an address to Switzerland's parliament on June 15, President Volodymyr Zelensky brought up the ongoing debate in the Swiss parliament on the re-export of the Swiss weapons arsenal, reminding Ukraine's own need for military aid.

According to RSI, several countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark, planned to purchase these tanks from RUAG and deliver them to Ukraine. A contract obtained by RSI revealed that RUAG planned to sell them to Rheinmetall, but the contract was rejected by the Swiss government.

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Editor’s note: Though the commanders quoted in this story are public figures, the other soldiers are identified by first names and callsigns only due to security reasons. DONETSK OBLAST — In a wide field in Donetsk Oblast, the silence of what would otherwise be a sleepy August afternoon is broken

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