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‘Democracy punch’: US and Germany ready to send tanks to Ukraine


The United States and Germany are close to supplying Ukraine with sought-after heavy battle tanks, Reuters reports.

Moscow called the move a “flagrant provocation”.

In a significant boost to Kyiv’s war effort, Berlin on Tuesday decided to greenlight the delivery of Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, reversing its policy of hesitation.

Meanwhile, Washington is expected to announce as early as Wednesday that it will send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, a source told Reuters.

Giving battle tanks to Ukraine has been a contentious issue in recent weeks.

Some of Kyiv’s allies, particularly in Eastern Europe, have argued that this is essential at a time when Russia is gaining ground on the battlefield, while others, including the United States and the Germany, are concerned about the escalation of hostilities.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the West to donate its most modern battle tanks on Tuesday night, saying “discussions must end with decisions”.

Moscow has warned that supplying Kyiv with offensive weapons will escalate the conflict. On Sunday, a Putin ally said it would lead to “global catastrophe” by weakening the case against the use of nuclear weapons.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has decided to approve sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and will allow other countries, such as Poland, to do the same, two sources told Reuters.

Countries wishing to export the tank must first seek permission from Berlin as they are German-made.

Spiegel magazine, which broke the news, said Germany planned to supply at least one company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks, or some 14 tanks.

Other European allies intend to accompany Germany in supplying their Leopards, the magazine reported.

Kyiv hailed the move as a potential battlefield change, although some believe the number of tanks is below what is needed to liberate Russian-held areas.

“A few hundred tanks for our tank crews… This is what will become a real punch of democracy,” Andriy Yermak, Zelenskiy’s administration chief, wrote on Telegram.

There is still no official confirmation from Berlin or Washington.

A US official told Reuters that his country would send around 30 M1 Abrams tanks over the next few months.

Used by about 20 armies around the world, Leopard 2 tanks are considered the best option, as they are available in large numbers and easy to maintain.

While the US tank is seen as less suitable due to its high fuel consumption and difficulty in maintaining, Washington’s move could pave the way for Germany – which has called for a united front among allies in the world. Ukraine – to enable the supply of Leopards.

euronews Gt

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