Zelenskyy attends funeral of helicopter crash victims with tanks on his mind

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By Mark Armstrong  with AP
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the funeral of victims of Wednesday's helicopter crash.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the funeral of victims of Wednesday's helicopter crash.   -   Copyright  Efrem Lukatsky/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife were in Bovary near Kyiv on Saturday for the funeral of the victims of the helicopter crash earlier this week.

Fourteen people died in the crash, including a child and Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, when the aircraft came down near a kindergarten. The circumstances of the incident are still unclear.

But as well as the tragedy, the big concern for Ukraine is still the lack of agreement among Western allies on whether to send heavy battle tanks to the country.

More than 50 defence leaders met on Friday in Germany but failed to reach an agreement on what has become an urgent request from Ukrainian leaders.

While US and NATO leaders denied any dissension in the ranks and praised Germany for its widespread weapons and training contributions to Ukraine, a smaller group of leaders met privately with the Germans to try to find common ground.

They were unable to forge a consensus on sending the German-made Leopard tanks.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said Friday that the 15 countries that had the Leopards discussed the issue but no decisions had been made.

Germany has so far resisted mounting pressure to quickly supply Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv, or at least clear the way for other countries, such as Poland, to deliver them from their own stocks.

Ukrainian soldier Vasyl is a tank commander serving on the front line and has no doubts about the issue of battle tanks.

"It's a great motivation for the infantry when the tanks are close," he said.

"Their morale is very high, they feel less fear. With Leopards and Challengers, when we start storming we would be unstoppable."

For more watch Euronews' report in the video above.