Ukraine: US and Germany now ready to send tanks - Dispatch Weekly

January 25, 2023 - Reading time: 3 minutes

​The US and Germany intend to send tanks to Ukraine after months of delaying the move, which Kiev hopes will shift the dynamics of the war.

The administration of US President Joe Biden is anticipated to reveal plans to supply at least 30 M1 Abrams tanks.

Olaf Scholz, the Chancellor of Germany, after weeks of indecisiveness, has also finally agreed to send at least 14 Leopard 2 tanks.

The revelation was denounced by Russia’s envoy to the US as “yet another obvious provocation.”

Such shipments, according to Ukrainian officials, could help their forces to take back territory from the Russians.

Up until now, internal and external pressure on the US and Germany to send their tanks to Ukraine has been met with resistance.

Washington has emphasised the high-tech Abrams’ considerable maintenance and training needs.

Berlin has expressed concern about NATO joining the battle with Russia directly.

US media sites are citing unnamed sources when they say that an announcement concerning Abrams shipments to Ukraine could happen as soon as Wednesday.

At least 30 of the vehicles could be deployed, according to unnamed officials who were mentioned.

However, the delivery schedule is still unknown, and it might take months for the US combat vehicles to arrive at the front line.

German officials reportedly privately maintained that they would only consent to the supply of Leopard 2s to Ukraine if the US also delivered M1 Abrams.

The British government has already committed to sending Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine.

This week, Poland stated that it wanted to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, but due to their German manufacturing, Berlin must first authorise the export.

According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Leopard 2 tanks are deployed in at least 16 NATO and European nations.

Although not everyone will send tanks to Ukraine, Mr. Scholz’s apparent decision now gives them the option to do so if they want to.

The head of the German parliament’s defence committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann of the liberal FDP party, welcomed the news.

She said that it will be a comfort to “the battered and brave Ukrainian people.”

The perceived German slowness to send the armoured vehicles has recently upset the Allied nations.

Boris Pistorius, the German defence minister, had claimed that Berlin had authorised other countries to train Ukrainians to operate Leopard 2 tanks but had not committed to deploying its own.

Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff to the Ukrainian president, urged Western nations on Tuesday to send Kyiv hundreds of tanks so it can create a “crushing fist” against Russia.

After hearing that Germany had agreed to provide tanks, he posted on Telegram: “Tanks are one of the components for Ukraine to return to its 1991 boundaries.”

“If the United States decides to send tanks, then rationalising such a decision with arguments about “defensive weapons” would surely not work,” said Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to Washington, on Telegram.

“This would be yet another obvious provocation to the Russian Federation.”

DW Staff

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