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Europe News

Ukraine receives its first Western heavy tanks

The first British and German heavy tanks have arrived in Ukraine, a welcome boost for the country’s armed forces.

Long sorted by Kyiv, the Challenger and Leopard tanks were received just in time for a spring offensive planned by the Ukrainian army.

Whether or not to supply Ukraine with heavy battle tanks has been the subject of long debate, with some countries fearing it could escalate the conflict with Russia.

Britain was the first major ally to agree, with Germany eventually giving in to pressure from its NATO allies.

The announcement comes after a Euronews investigation debunked false claims circulating on social media that the Leopard 2 tanks were stuck in the mud.

In a Facebook post, Ukrainian Defense Minister Olesksiy Reznikov announced that “British Challengers, American Strykers and Cougars and German Marders” had been “added to Ukrainian units”.

He posted an accompanying photo with the vehicles, without specifying the day of their arrival.

Moscow has previously pledged to wipe out all Western-made tanks shipped to Ukraine, with a Russian company offering a $72,000 bounty to the first soldiers to destroy or capture one.

On Monday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Berlin had supplied “very modern” Leopard battle tanks.

Later, his Ministry of Defense said that 18 tanks had been delivered.

“Our tanks arrived as promised and punctually in the hands of our Ukrainian friends,” Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement.

“I’m sure they can make a difference on the pitch.”

euronews Gt

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