Germany and the United States will reportedly send tanks to Ukraine to help the country repel a Russian invasion.
Although there is no official confirmation from Berlin or Washington, Ukraine Officials celebrated what they said was a potential game changer.
“We have a tank crew of several hundred tanks – the best tank crews in the world. This is going to be a real tank
Andriy Yermak, head of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government, wrote on Telegram:
The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is said to be preparing to approve the dispatch of M1 Abrams tanks, while Germany is said to be preparing to dispatch Leopard 2 tanks.
Der Spiegel magazine said the German decision involved at least one Leopard 2 tank company. A company usually consists of 14 tanks.
Berlin is also expected to announce that it will approve Poland’s request to transfer German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the Poles – and other Western allies he did not name – had been training Ukrainian soldiers in Poland to use the Leopard fighter jets.
For months, Kyiv has begged Western countries to send tanks to provide firepower and mobility to its forces, hoping to break through Russia’s defenses and retake Russian-occupied territory.
What is the Leopard 2 main battle tank?
Germany’s cautious move could lead to further escalation in Moscow
German Chancellor Olaf Schulz’s Social Democrats have blocked the move, fearing it could lead to further escalation in Moscow.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said the deployment of Western tanks would trigger “clearly negative” consequences.
The German-built Leopards used by armies across Europe were widely considered the best choice due to their high numbers and ease of deployment and maintenance.
Meanwhile, the U.S. M1 Abrams tank was considered a less suitable option due to its high fuel consumption and difficulty in maintaining it, but the move to supply the tank appears to be aimed at making it easier for Germany, which has called for unity among its Ukrainian allies front, allowing the supply of leopards.
Officials reportedly said the tanks would likely be procured through Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funds, a process that could take months or even years to deliver.
Britain sends Challenger 2 tanks
Earlier this month, the UK announced It will send a squadron of 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine “within the next few weeks”.
This is after Sky News exclusively revealed Britain is considering supplying Ukraine with British tanks.