Biden explains why the United States and its allies are sending tanks to Ukraine

The United States is joining its allies in sending tanks to Ukraine so that the country can resist Russian invaders even better, President Joe Biden said Wednesday.

The Biden administration will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks – the equivalent of a Ukrainian battalion – to Ukrainian forces, while Germany and other European states will ship German-made Leopard 2 tanks. Britain also plans to supply Kyiv with its own Challenger 2 tanks, and France is supplying AMX-10 armored fighting vehicles. Together, these deliveries represent a turning point in Western support for Ukraine – and a sign of confidence in the Ukrainians’ ability to retake territory from the Russian troops who invaded their country 11 months ago.

“The United States, alongside our allies and partners, will continue to do everything possible to support Ukraine,” Biden said Wednesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “expected Europe and the United States to weaken our resolve,” Biden continued. “He expected our support for Ukraine to crumble over time. He was wrong. He was wrong all along and continues to be wrong.

Ukraine’s leaders say its army needs 300 tanks to support its war effort, taking advantage of Russian weakness before Moscow can re-equip its forces. The tanks, especially the Abrams models, are advanced, so it will probably take months for them to arrive and for Ukrainian troops to learn how to deploy them.

“Abrams tanks are the most capable tanks in the world, and they are also extremely complex to operate and maintain,” Biden said. “So we are also giving Ukraine the necessary parts and equipment to effectively support these tanks on the battlefield.”

In recent weeks, Germany has been reluctant to approve tank transfers for Ukraine, including from allies fielding German equipment who need permission from Berlin to export them, citing fears of an escalation of the conflict. But earlier on Wednesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz acknowledged he had heeded international criticism and the argument that without strong support for Ukraine now, an even worse escalation from Russia would be inevitable. . Scholz said Germany would send 14 Leopard 2 tanks.

Some US officials have been reluctant to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine. But their colleagues who argued that the pledge was key to getting Germany moving won the internal Biden administration debate.

Biden dismissed the idea that Germany had “forced” him to change his mind about sending tanks, adding that “we want to make sure we’re all together.”

Biden still insists the United States will not engage in fighting in Ukraine with its own troops.

“Today’s announcement builds on the hard work and commitment of countries around the world, led by the United States of America, to help Ukraine defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity” , Biden said.

“That’s what it’s all about, helping Ukraine defend and protect Ukrainian land,” he continued. “There is no offensive threat to Russia. There is no offensive threat to Russia. If Russian troops return to Russia, they will be where they belong. This war would be over today. is what we all want, an end to this war.


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