The United States is still going to deliver M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. This has just been announced by US President Joe Biden. Germany previously gave permission to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
The US is supplying 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. According to official figures, the country owns a total of about six thousand. A government official says delivery of the tanks could take months.
US government officials have said for months that supplying Abram tanks is not realistic. They especially pointed out that the maintenance of the tanks is “extremely difficult and expensive”. Ukrainian soldiers also have to undergo long training before they can use the vehicles.
But the Pentagon is now tacking. The Arab branch of Sky News was the first to report on the delivery plans before the official announcement. According to the news channel, the Pentagon is now convinced that Kyiv needs about 500 tanks to withstand the next Russian offensive.
The Americans follow Germany, which gave the green light for European tank deliveries on Tuesday. On Wednesday it became clear that Germany and European allies will donate almost ninety modern Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Those tanks are seen as the best, heaviest and deadliest tanks made in Europe.
Since then, numerous European countries have announced tank deliveries. Other countries indicate that they are open to supply tanks.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomes the news. “We are sincerely grateful to Germany and all our other friends.” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is asking countries to supply Kyiv with “as many” tanks as possible.