Ukrainian crews finish Leopard 2 tank training in Spain

Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations

Spain has wrapped up its four-week training of dozens of Ukrainian soldiers in how to use Leopard 2A4 tanks ahead of the planned delivery of six of Spain’s own mothballed Leopard 2 tanks later this year.

Some 40 Ukrainian tank crew members and 15 mechanical specialists had been taken to a military base in Zaragoza, northern Spain.

Spanish trainer Captain Contreras told Reuters that the training had been “intense,” but that the Ukrainian soldiers were leaving “with a very acceptable knowledge” of the tanks.

“Although the tanks were different, there were many systems that coincide and that has made things much easier. With that, together with the motivation that the personnel brought and their desire to learn, we see them very well prepared to resume combat,” he added.

Ukraine says it is still holding positions in Bakhmut

The head of Ukraine’s ground forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi says his soldiers are facing heavy pressure around Bakhmut, but Kyiv’s forces have so far managed to fend off attempts to capture the town.

“The situation around Bakhmut remains difficult,” Syrskyi was quoted as saying on Ukraine’s Media Military Centre Telegram
messaging platform.

“All enemy attempts to capture the town are repelled by artillery, tanks, and other firepower,” Syrskyi said and went on to say that forces from Russian private military company Wagner Group “are attacking from several directions trying to break through the defenses of our troops and advance to the central districts of the town.”

Wagner meanwhile said: “the enemy is battling for every meter, the closer we are to the city center, the harder the battles”.

DW is not able to independently verify the claims.

Over the weekend, British military intelligence reported that units from the Wagner Group had captured most of eastern Bakhmut, with a river flowing through the city center now marking the front line.

Wagner has been spearheading offensives in eastern Ukraine, in what has become the longest and bloodiest fight of Russia’s yearlong assault. Both sides have suffered heavy losses around the city.