Joe Biden has approved sending 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The US resisted providing its own M1 Abrams tanks, citing the maintenance and logistical challenges of the high-tech vehicle. Earlier, the US President had a telephone conversation with France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Olaf Scholz, Italy’s Georgia Meloni and Britain’s Rishi Sunak. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Biden for the “powerful decision” and described it as “an important step on the road to victory.”
Germany has confirmed that it will provide 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Ukraine’s war effort. The chancellor, Olaf Scholz, also said his government plans to send more military aid to Ukraine beyond tanks. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the decision and said he was “sincerely grateful” to Scholz.
The key to providing tanks for Ukraine’s defense against Russia was speed and sufficient numbers. Zelensky said Wednesday. “The key now is speed and volume. Speed to train our troops, speed to supply tanks to Ukraine. Numbers in tank support,” he said in his nightly video address.
By agreeing to send the Abrams, the U.S. is able to meet Scholz’s demand for a U.S. commitment without immediately sending the tanks. In public statements, Washington and Berlin have denied any connection between their respective decisions, although media reports said German officials had made it clear in private that the Leopards were conditional on a similar commitment by the United States.
Germany will also approve the supply of German-made Leopard 2 tanks from its own stocks to other European countries. Finland, Spain and the Netherlands will contribute similar models, according to German media reports. The second battalion is made up of Leopard 2A4 tanks from Poland and Norway.
Germany’s proposal has prompted calls for more heavy weapons by the Ukrainian government. Zelensky and his ministers are trying to break the “taboo” on the provision of jets such as the American-made F16. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he had spoken with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau about more military aid, including fighter jets, a request repeatedly made to NATO allies that has failed.
The Russian embassy in Germany has accused Berlin of pushing the conflict in Ukraine to a “new level of confrontation”. The decision to approve the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine means the German government’s “ultimate refusal” to accept Moscow’s “historic responsibility,” Ambassador Sergey Nechayev said in a statement.
The Kremlin downplayed the impact of Western tanks, Said military aid to Ukraine “will burn like everything else”. In comments to reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the expected transfer of Leopard 2 and Abrams tanks to the Ukrainian military a “failed plan.”
Ukrainian military spokesman Serhii Cherevaty said that the Ukrainian army has withdrawn from the eastern city of Soledar in the Donetsk region. According to the country’s state broadcaster Suspilne. The troop withdrawal was “to protect the lives of service personnel”, he said. His comments are the first Ukrainian confirmation of Soledar’s capture by Russian forces.
Due to Russian shelling, one person was killed and six others were injured in Kherson Oblast, while 10 people were injured in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine’s state broadcaster Suspilne reported.. It said that in the past 24 hours, the Russian Federation had launched four missiles and 26 airstrikes, as well as more than 100 rounds of fire from multiple launch rocket systems into Ukraine.
In Ukraine, 15 senior officials have resigned since Saturday, six of whom have been accused of corruption by journalists and Ukraine’s anti-corruption authorities. On Wednesday, Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin signed an order on the voluntary dismissal of the heads of the Zaporizhia, Kirovohrad, Poltava, Sumy and Chernihiv regional prosecutor’s offices. Oleksiy Kuleba, who was removed as the governor of Kyiv on Tuesday, has been appointed as the deputy head of the presidential office during the reorganization.