Today, I’m announcing that the United States will be sending 31 Abram tanks to Ukraine, the equivalent of one Ukrainian battalion.President Joe Biden announcing that the U.S. will transfer some of the top tanks in the world to Ukraine, as the war approaches the one year mark. Also on Wednesday, Germany announced it will send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Why It Matters: The announcements from the United States and Germany that they will be sending what are considered to be some of the most capable tanks in the world reflects unity between the two countries as they continue to provide support to Ukraine. Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy had long insisted Ukraine needed more modern, Western tanks, and praised the two countries' decisions on Wednesday.
- Background: The decision to send tanks came after months of discussions, including concern from the U.S. that the Abrams tanks "were too difficult for Ukrainian troops to operate and maintain," according to The AP. Germany was also hesitant to approve the transfer of their German-made Leopard 2 tanks, and German officials had said they would only do so if the U.S. provided the Abrams. On Wednesday, Pres. Biden said: "The United States, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our Allies and partners, is going to continue to do all we can to support Ukraine."
- Important To Note: A senior administration official noted that it will likely take months for Abrams tanks to reach Ukraine. In the meantime, Pres. Biden said the U.S. will use that time "to make sure the Ukrainians are fully prepared to integrate the Abrams tanks into their defenses." Reuters reports that the cost of an Abrams tank can vary, "and can be over $10 million per tanks when including training and sustainment."
- The first of the 14 tanks Germany agreed to provide are expected to first be deployed in about three months. Germany has also given the green light for other countries to provide Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine (Poland has formally requested to send some of these to Ukraine.)
- Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the U.S. and Germany's decisions to send tanks "a rather disastrous plan."
Watch President Biden's announcement HERE
US, Germany sending battle tanks to back Ukraine war effort (The Associated Press)
by Jenna Lee,