NewsFormer German President criticizes Chancellor's reluctance over missile delivery to Ukraine

Former German President criticizes Chancellor's reluctance over missile delivery to Ukraine

Taurus KEPD 350 missile
Taurus KEPD 350 missile
Images source: © MBDA | Bernhard Huber Munich
11:18 AM EST, January 8, 2024

"I can't understand why we're hesitating," Gauck said in an interview with the "Bild am Sonntag" newspaper. The chancellor "must constantly reassess whether he isn't overlooking his professed commitment to do everything possible to prevent Russia from securing a victorious peace," stressed the former President.

Joachim Gauck maintains that the government's hesitation "causes concern as it not only diminishes Ukraine's chances, but also elevates the threat to the free world".

Although Gauck admitted that he's not familiar with military affairs, he has spoken to individuals with necessary military knowledge. "After these discussions, I can't comprehend why we hesitate to supply these weapons and other ammunition," he emphasized.

Taurus missiles can reach up to 310 miles (~500 km). Earlier statements from some German politicians suggest that this aspect of the debated weapon induces doubts. Some suggest the Taurus missiles could escalate the conflict. Nevertheless, authorities in the United Kingdom and France, which have been supplying Ukraine with Storm Shadow and SCALP-EG missiles with the same range for several months, don't share these doubts.

Ukrainians strongly advocate for the German missiles because Storm Shadow and SCALP-EG maneuverable missiles have proven to be a significant reinforcement and enable inflicting heavy losses on Russia. These missiles have already been put to use, including in the attacks on the Chongar Bridge and the shipyard in Sevastopol, where several ships were destroyed.

Each Taurus missile measures about 16.4 feet (~5 meters) in length and weighs up to roughly 3086.47 pounds (~1400 kg). It's equipped with a MEPHISTO (Multi-Effect Penetrator, Highly Sophisticated and Target Optimized) warhead, which weighs approximately 1102.31 pounds (~500 kg). Its build means that it can be exploded not only as a traditional fragmentation and destruction missile but can also be detonated with a delay, depending on the target and the needs of the attackers.

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