Last month, Germany promised to send 5,000 combat helmets to Ukraine — a pledge that supposedly demonstrated its solidarity with the country.

The move — which comes at a time when an estimated 130,000 Russian troops are massed by Ukraine’s border — was met with near-universal derision. But Germany had already come under fire for weeks for its weak response to the standoff between Russia and NATO over Ukraine, with some even questioning its reliability as an ally.

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