Ukraine-Russia news – live: Germany delivers much-awaited Leopard tanks to Kyiv

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced the delivery of much-awaited Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

The tanks, which were handed over in a ceremony in Kyiv, are part of a package of military assistance Germany has provided to Ukraine in the wake of the conflict with Russia.

The Leopard tanks are the most advanced tanks in the Ukrainian military, and will provide a major boost to their capabilities.

Merkel said the tanks will help Kyiv in its efforts to protect its borders and maintain its territorial integrity.

“We are aware of the enormous challenges Ukraine is currently facing,” Merkel said. “This is why it is important for us to provide support in order to protect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The delivery of the tanks comes amid increasingly strained relations between Kyiv and Moscow.

Russia has been actively arming separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, and has been accused of providing them with heavy weapons and military equipment, including tanks and artillery.

The delivery of the Leopard tanks is seen as an attempt to counter Russia's military presence in the region.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has called for an immediate ceasefire in the region.

The organization has also urged Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine, in accordance with the Minsk agreement.

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has been ongoing since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and began providing support to separatists in the Donbass region.

The conflict has claimed the lives of more than 13,000 people, and has displaced an estimated 1.5 million.

The delivery of the Leopard tanks is the latest in a series of developments which suggest the conflict is unlikely to end anytime soon.