Washington DC, 26 January 2023 (TDI): United States (US) President, Joe Biden announced that the US will send 31 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine.
Initially, the United States resisted sending modern battle tanks to Ukraine that were too difficult for Ukrainian troops to operate and maintain.
The United States’ decision came on the heels of Germany agreeing to send 14 leopards and 2 tanks. Germany had demanded that leopard 2 would not be sent unless the US put its Abrams tank on the table.
Berlin did not want to incur Russia’s wrath without the US similarly committing its own tanks. President Biden said that in total European allies have agreed to send enough tanks to equip two Ukrainian tank battalions.
Furthermore, he added that the tanks would modernize Ukrainian defense capability in the face of the Russian expected offensive in spring.
The $400 million package announced also includes recovery vehicles, tank-like tracked vehicles that can support the Abrams if it gets stuck.
Besides US and Germany, the UK, France, Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden will also send hundreds of tanks and heavily armored vehicles to fortify Ukrainian defense capability as it enters a new phase of the war.
The US tanks will be purchased through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which means it will take some time for the Ukrainian forces to receive the tanks and be able to deploy them on the battlefield.
Russia’s instance on the transfer of heavy vehicles
The Kremlin side slammed the potential weapons transfer and said it will not prevent Russia from reaching its goals.
Russian Ambassador to Germany Sergey Nechayev called Berlin’s decision to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine “extremely dangerous” and said it “shifts the conflict to a new level of confrontation.”
The Russian spokesman Demitry Peskov condemned and said, “Unfortunately more weapons from NATO bring more suffering for people in Ukraine”
Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov responded to the transfer of M1 to Ukraine, as “another blatant provocation against the Russian Federation”.
Furthermore, he also said, “If a decision to transfer to the Kyiv M1 Abrams is made, American tanks without any doubt will be destroyed as all the other samples of NATO military equipment”.