The United States and Germany are jointly preparing to send advanced technological war tanks to Ukraine in order to uplift Russia-Ukraine war.
The idea comes after months of reluctance, in what Ukraine hopes will be a game-changer on its battlefield to gain back its captured territories.
The US media reported that an announcement regarding Abrams shipments to Ukraine could come as soon as Wednesday, with unnamed officials cited as saying at least 30 could be sent.
The Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, on Tuesday called on Western countries to give Kyiv hundreds of tanks to form a “crushing fist” against Russia.
Earlier, the Ukrainian government officials said that they urgently needed heavier and more advanced weapons, and stated sufficient battle tanks could help Kyiv’s forces seize back territory from the Russian forces.
The United States President Joe Biden’s administration is expected to announce plans to send about 30 M1 Abrams tanks for support of the Ukrainian war against Moscow.
Further, Germans have endured months of painful political debate amid concerns that sending tanks would escalate the conflict and make Nato a direct party to the war with Russia.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has on the other hand also reportedly decided to send at least 14 Leopard 2 tanks. He is set to speak in parliament on Wednesday morning.
In a statement by Russia’s ambassador to the US said that the news was “another blatant provocation”.
The Kremlin spokesman said Germany’s reported decision would “bring nothing good” and leave “a lasting mark” on relations with Russia.
But until now, the United States and Germany have resisted internal and external pressure to send their advanced war tanks to Ukraine.
Washington has cited the extensive training and maintenance required for the High-Tech Abrams.
The actual timing remains unclear, and it could take many months for the US combat vehicles to reach the battlefront.
German officials had reportedly been insisting they would only agree to the transfer of Leopard 2s to Ukraine if the US also sent M1 Abrams for the boost of the Ukraine-Russia war.
“If the Germans continue to say we will only send or release Leopards on the conditions that Americans send Abrams, we should send Abrams,” Democratic Senator Chris Coons, a Biden ally, told Politico on Tuesday, January 24.
Britain has already said it will send Challenger 2 tanks to Kyiv.
Ukraine is still unlikely to get the 300 modern main battle tanks it says it needs to win the war against Moscow.
But if half a dozen Western nations each provide 14 tanks, then that would bring the total to nearly 100, which could make a difference.
Western tanks including the UK’s Challenger 2, Germany’s Leopard 2, and the US-made Abrams are all seen as superior to their Soviet-era counterparts, like the ubiquitous T-72.
In recent weeks, there has been a step change in heavy weapons being supplied by the West including hundreds more armoured vehicles, artillery systems, and ammunition.
Combined together, they are the kind of military hardware needed to punch through Russian lines and retake territory.
If Ukrainian troops can be trained and the weapons delivered in time, they could form solid elements of any spring offensive. A missing element for offensive operations is still Air-power.
While there has been no official statement from the German government, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann of the liberal FDP party, who chairs the defence committee of the German parliament, welcomed the reports.
“The decision was tough, it took far too long, but in the end it was unavoidable,” she said, adding that it would come as a relief to “the battered and brave Ukrainian people”.
German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius earlier said that Berlin had given other nations the green light to train the Ukrainian army on how to use Leopard 2 tanks, but did not commit to sending their own.
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