New York: The United States and Germany will send heavy tanks to Ukraine, sources said, reported news agency Reuters. This decision will reshape the war with Russia, Kyiv said.
Just hours before turning 45 today, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pressed allies to move forward with providing over five to 15 modern tanks to reinforce Ukraine’s military power.
“Discussions must be concluded with decisions,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address. “Decisions on real strengthening of our defence against terrorists. The allies have the required number of tanks.”
Washington was ready to start a process that would eventually send M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, just days after arguing against granting Kyiv’s requests, two US officials told Reuters.
According to a third official, the US commitment could total about 30 tanks to be delivered over the coming months.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had decided to send Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine and allow other countries such as Poland to send them as well, according to sources.
Germany was planning to send in at least one company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks, which usually comprises 14 tanks, Reuters quoted Spiegel magazine, which first reported the news, as saying.
Officials in Kyiv are hopeful, despite no official confirmation from the US or Germany.
“A few hundred tanks for our tank crews. This is what is going to become a real punching fist of democracy,” Andriy Yermak, the head of Zelenskyy’s administration, wrote on Telegram.
Kyiv has been pleading for months for Western tanks that it says would give its forces the ability to break through Russian defensive lines and recapture occupied territory in the east and south.