The United States said on Wednesday it would supply Ukraine with 31 of its most advanced battle tanks after Germany broke a taboo with a similar announcement, moves hailed by Kyiv as a potential turning point in its battle to repel Russia’s invasion.
The U.S. decision to deliver M1 Abrams tanks helped break a diplomatic logjam with Germany over how to best to help Kyiv in its war with Russia, which hours earlier had condemned Berlin’s decision to provide Leopard 2 tanks as a dangerous provocation
Washington had been wary of the idea of deploying the difficult-to-maintain Abrams but had to change tack to persuade Germany to send its more easily operated Leopard 2 tanks – the workhorse of NATO armies across Europe – to Ukraine.
President Joe Biden announced the U.S. decision in remarks at the White House, saying the tanks were needed to help the Ukrainians “improve their ability to maneuver in open terrain.”
Biden thanked Germany for its move and listed further military hardware that NATO allies and other European countries were supplying. “Germany has really stepped up,” he said.
“The expectation on the part of Russia is we’re going to break up,” Biden said of the United States and European allies. “But we are completely united.”
Kyiv has been demanding Western main battle tanks for months. This would allow his forces to increase their firepower, defenses and mobility to break through long static lines and retake potentially occupied areas to the east and south.
A senior Biden administration official said it would be months before Abrams was handed over, explaining that the move could be used for the long-term defense of Ukraine.
“There is no offensive threat to Russia (itself). Moscow increasingly portrays the war as a dangerous confrontation between Russia and her US-led NATO alliance,” Biden said.
“the road to success”
Biden met Wednesday with Prime Minister Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to discuss cooperation between the two countries in helping Kyiv, according to the White House. Germany, whose Nazi past has made the West reluctant to export offensive weapons, has sent the first company of 14 Leopard 2 tanks from its own stocks and said it would also approve deliveries by allies.
The ultimate goal was to supply Ukraine with her two battalions of Leopards, usually consisting of three or four companies each, the first one being his three or four battalions. It will arrive within a month.
“Germany will always be at the forefront when it comes to helping Ukraine,” Scholz told the Bundestag.
Scholz later said that in addition to supplying Leopards, Germany would send other military aid to Kyiv, including air defenses, heavy weapons, and some rocket launchers.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed Washington’s decision on the Abrams tank and thanked Scholz for the leopard. He tweeted:
“Today, the free world is united like never before for a common goal,” he said, calling it the liberation of Ukraine.
“The important thing is that this is only the beginning. We need hundreds of tanks,” said Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian president’s office, in a Telegram post.
The move by Germany and the US has certainly broken one of the last taboos for Western support of Ukraine.
Provides weapons for offensive rather than defensive purposes. The West has been reluctant to send heavy-attack weapons for fear of provoking Russia, a nuclear power.
Russia says Berlin is abandoning its “historic responsibility to Russia” stemming from Nazi crimes in World War II when Hitler’s forces invaded the Soviet Union, Germany’s decision reacted with anger.
“This extremely dangerous decision will bring the conflict to a new level of confrontation,” said Moscow’s ambassador to Germany Sergey Nechaev.
Pledges to Ukraine from other countries defending the leopards that Germany manufactured and exported to NATO allies are meant to encourage major powers the United States and Germany to settle their disagreements about their approach. It doubled this week because it looked like
Finland and Norway have announced to send leopards, as has Poland, which has already sought Berlin’s approval.
Spain and the Netherlands indicated that they were considering this. Britain has provided companies with 14 equivalent Challenger tanks, and France is considering sending Leclerc.
Moscow says shipping modern offensive weapons to Ukraine will only delay Ukraine’s inevitable victory. Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to Washington, said the US supply of tanks was “another blatant provocation”.
Withdrawal from SOLEDAR
With the war turning into a bloody stalemate drudgery since Ukraine recaptured some territory in her summer and fall of 2022, Kyiv believes Western heavy weapons can regain its momentum. there is
Kyiv confirmed on Wednesday that its troops had withdrawn from Soledar, a small salt-mining town in the east that Russia occupied more than a week ago. The city is near Bakhmut, a major city that has been the focus of heavy Russian attacks for weeks.
The governor of the Russian-installed Donetsk region of Ukraine said units of the Russian Wagner Treaty militia are now advancing in Bakhmut, fighting in the suburbs and areas recently occupied by Ukraine.
Reuters could not confirm the situation there.
In his 11 months since the invasion, Russia has killed thousands of civilians, displaced millions of people from their homes, and reduced entire cities to rubble.
She says their “special military operation” was necessary to contain the security threat posed by Ukraine’s ties to the West. Kyiv and its allies say Ukraine has never threatened Russia and aggression is a war of aggression to conquer neighboring countries and seize land.