Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a large anti-Putin coalition has been formed. However, someone helps only because of the general trend, and someone really understands the level of threat that Putin’s Russia poses. A lot has already been said about the help of the USA, Great Britain, Poland, and the Baltic states, but today we would like to give another example. In this article, we will talk about assistance to Ukraine from Denmark.
How is Denmark currently helping Ukraine?
From the very beginning of the war, Denmark provided qualitative assistance to Ukraine with weapons. What’s it worth just handing over 25 Piranha III wheeled armored personnel carriers and M10 heavy mortars or all your CAESAR self-propelled howitzers? The Kingdom also played a huge role in security issues on the Black Sea. Currently, Denmark and the Netherlands have agreed to transfer 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
It should be noted that Denmark has a very systematic approach to aid issues. On March 15, 2023, the local parliament (Folketing) created a military, civil, and economic aid fund of 7 billion DKK, which is more than $1 billion. Most of the funds — 5.4 billion DKK (about $240 million) will go to military aid, another 1.2 billion DKK (more than $54 million) — for civil works, and the rest — for reconstruction projects in Ukraine.
The first aid package of 1 billion kroner under this fund was agreed upon on March 15, 2023. It included:
- Ammunition for pistols: cartridges of 5.56 mm caliber for pistols;
- Additional 12.7-mm large-caliber machine guns;
- An additional large number of anti-tank mines;
- Flame extinguishers and ignition tubes for 155-mm artillery ammunition;
- Additional missiles for air defense;
- Robots for defuse bombs in the amount of 21 pieces;
- 15 military generators;
- 8,000 headgear and 15,000 sets of waterproof clothing;
- 6 hangar tents;
- 9 mobile workshops for repairing military equipment.
Minister of Defense of Denmark and transfer of F-16: «We ready to discuss»
Acting Minister of Defense of Denmark Troels Lund Poulsen visited Ukraine on April 10, 2023, which once again showed great respect for our country and its people, who are heroically resisting Russian aggression. At a joint briefing with the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksiy Reznikov, the Danish government official raised several important topics.
In particular, Troels Lund Poulsen noted that Denmark will not only continue to support Ukraine materially, humanitarian, with weapons and ammunition but will also train our military personnel.
It is also worth reminding that Denmark was one of the first to talk about providing modern F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. We wrote more about the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in modern military aviation here and here.
The Ukrainian Review asked Troels Lund Poulsen when Ukraine could expect to receive NATO standard aircraft. The Danish high-ranking official was very diplomatic in his response, but hinted that Denmark perfectly understands the need to resolve this issue as soon as possible:
«We were just talking [with Oleksiy Reznikov — editor.]about F-16 fighters. Denmark is aware of this need and we are considering various ways to support Ukraine. Yes, the first discussion about fighter aviation is the training and education of pilots from Ukraine. I am open to discussing this issue, but it is important for me to emphasize that Denmark will solve this issue in partnership with other European countries».
Why does Denmark manage to quickly make decisions on aid to Ukraine?
In the Danish parliament, as well as in society, there is a complete consensus regarding the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. An interesting example: after the address of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Danish Parliament on March 29, 2022, the Danish public broadcaster — TV company DR invited its viewers to ask questions of local politicians. Representatives of the Folketing [Parliament of Denmark — ed.] from various political forces responded: Katarina Ammitzbøll (Conservative People’s Party), Kim Valentin (Venstre), Jens Joel (Social Democrats political party), Peder Hvelplund (Red-Green Alliance).
We prepared a small digest in order to have a general idea of the attitude of Danish society and political elites to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:
Question: Zelenskyy asked for help in restoring the country [Denmark, in particular, volunteered to restore some facilities in Mykolaiv and Mykolaiv region, read an interview on this topic with the Danish ambassador to Ukraine, Ole Egberg Mikkelsen — ed.]. Will we help only with materials or will we send our specialists?
The answer from all politicians is approximately the same: of course, we will help when peace comes. The materials will definitely be there, the working hands will also be there, the main thing is that the war ends and it is safe.
Question: Can Putin withdraw troops from Ukraine and then use nuclear weapons?
Jens Joel, Social Democrats: It is impossible to predict how Putin will behave. But we must not aggravate the situation, we must continue to help Ukraine — with humanitarian goods and accept refugees.
Katarina Ammitzbøll, Conservative People’s Party: I don’t think Putin will use a nuclear weapon. These are unforeseen consequences for Europe and the Russian Federation, but no one knows what is in his head. It is important to put pressure on him during the negotiations so that no more innocent people die and the war ends.
Peder Hvelplund, Red–Green Alliance, coalition: Such a scenario cannot be rejected, but I think it will not apply. Sanctions and arms supply to Ukraine are working, and the economy of the Russian Federation and its army are under enormous pressure, this inspires faith that the war can be ended. But there is a risk that Putin will use chemical weapons.
Kim Valentin, Venstre, Danmarks Liberale Parti: No, that’s not the real scenario.
Question: Are we doing everything possible to help Ukraine? Do we help them win or just hang on?
Answer [here also unity among different political forces — ed.]. In general, the content is as follows: We help, and the EU has shown unity. We help with refugees, we help with humanitarian aid, we help with weapons. It is necessary to continue to hit with sanctions, hard and purposefully. But a military conflict between the West and the Russian Federation should be avoided.
Also, to the question of whether there is any part of Ukraine’s fault at the beginning of this war, all politicians answered unequivocally: only Russia and Putin are to blame, this is not a debatable issue.
Denmark is an example of how public consensus affects the rationality of the state’s position and the speed of decision-making. That is why it is important to carry out information work even in those countries that already support Ukraine. Because Russian propaganda is actively working there as well. It is clear that it will not be possible to massively convince citizens that war in the center of Europe in the 21st century is a normal phenomenon or that Ukraine is to blame for it. However, it is quite possible to create some small group of people, let’s call it conditionally «not everything is so clear-cut». This is needed primarily to simulate the range of opinions regarding the war, which in turn will affect the speed of strategic decision-making on aid to Ukraine. Every day of unnecessary bureaucratic procedures is indirect help to the aggressor, it is the life of the Ukrainian military.