German plans to send thousands of anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine have been hit after it emerged some of them don’t work. The Soviet-made Strela missiles were part of communist-era East German stocks and have been in storage so long they are no longer operational.

 

Germany reversed its longstanding ban on delivering weapons to conflict zones last week and pledged to send arms to Ukraine. The issue does not affect the first batch of German weapons supplies, which has already been delivered to Ukraine. A shipment of 1,000 anti-tank rockets and 500 fully operational US-made Stinger anti-aircraft missiles was safely delivered this week.

 

Berlin then announced this week that it plans to follow it up with a delivery of 2,700 of the Strela missiles. But it has now emerged that the missiles are so badly damaged they are no longer operational.

 

The German defense ministry was reportedly surprised by the government announcement, because the Strela missiles were declared obsolete and placed in storage in 2014.

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