West to deliver 321 tanks to Ukraine

Friday | January 27, 2023

Western countries will deliver more than 300 tanks to Ukraine, Kyiv’s ambassador to France said Friday.

According to Vadym Omelchenko, CNN affiliate BFM television, “as of today, various countries have publicly acknowledged their agreement to provide 321 heavy tanks to Ukraine.”

He did not list the nations that would supply the tanks or break down which models will be supplied.

The estimate from Omelchenko follows this week’s commitments from the US to provide 31 M1 Abrams tanks and Germany to send 14 Leopard 2 A6s. 14 Challenger 2 tanks have already been committed by the United Kingdom, while Poland has asked Germany for permission to transfer some of its own Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

North Korea charged that the United States and its allies had “further crossed the red line” by sending tanks to Ukraine at the time of Omelchenko’s interview.

Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said in a statement carried by North Korean media on Friday that the US had a “sinister desire to fulfill its hegemonic aim by further escalating the proxy war for destroying Russia.”

She declared that North Koreans would “always stand in the same trench” as Russians and accused the US and other Western nations of “wrecking the global peace and the regional security while handing over to Ukraine military hardware running into astronomical sums of money in complete disregard of Russia’s concern about security.”

It’s uncertain when the tanks will get to Ukraine. Delivery schedules will be changed during the ensuing round of negotiations between Ukraine and Western nations, according to Omelchenko, based on the type of tank and the country of origin.

Omelchenko, on the other hand, echoed the comments of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who had previously pushed the West to give what some analysts view as game-changing military weaponry, saying Ukraine needs the support “as quickly as feasible.”

It would be too late, he argued, if it had to wait until August or September.

The Ukrainian military has issued a time-sensitive warning. The nation is preparing for the upcoming weeks amid fears that a second Russian offensive might start in less than two months.

Prior military assistance, such as the American HIMARS rocket system, was crucial in assisting Ukraine thwart Russian advances and mount a number of successful counteroffensives in recent months.

But according to military analysts, tanks are currently Ukraine’s most potent direct offensive weapon.

Several Western countries, led by Germany and the United States, announced this week that they would send tank contingents to Ukraine.

In order to “improve Ukraine’s capabilities to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives” in the short- and long-terms, US President Joe Biden announced that 31 M1 Abrams tanks would be delivered.

Following several days of tough discussions with NATO allies, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in front of the parliament on Wednesday that his country will send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. This decision followed months of consideration.

According to a German government statement, “This is the outcome of extensive deliberations that took place with Germany’s closest European and international partners.”

Ukraine hopes that Berlin’s declaration will inspire other European countries that own Leopard tanks to re-export some of their armaments.

Poland formally requested Germany’s consent on Tuesday to transfer some of its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Military authorities earlier warned CNN that the additional tanks might change the course of the fight. However, other observers claimed that the new tanks wouldn’t immediately affect the game as some may anticipate.

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