US President Joe Biden says Washington will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, the equivalent of one Ukrainian tank battalion.
The US says it will send M1 Abrams tanks to Kyiv as international reluctance to send modern military hardware to Ukraine’s battlefront begins to erode.
The announcement follows Germany’s confirmation on Wednesday that it will supply Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks and allow its partners to do the same.
This is being seen as the first stage of a coordinated effort by the West to provide more heavy weapons to Ukraine.
For months, Kyiv has been asking its supporters to provide them with the battle tanks in preparation for a renewed Russian offensive that analysts expect will take place in spring.
US President Joe Biden said the 31 advanced Abrams battle tanks would be delivered in a matter of months.
Biden’s decision reverses months of debate within his administration about whether they would be too difficult for Ukrainian troops to operate and maintain.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed satisfaction at the news, but military analysts say it is not clear how much of an impact the German and US tanks will have on the battlefield.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dimitry Peskov, has described Washington and Berlin’s intentions as ‘a rather disastrous plan’.
He said “these tanks will burn down just like all the other ones” and added that the only difference is, modern tanks are more expensive.