US President Joe Biden has promised that America will send tanks to Ukraine to fight Russia. He’s about 31 Abrams tanks. The pledge came after German Chancellor Scholz earlier agreed to send Leopard tanks.
Lots of support
Biden said in his speech that the United States does not want to provoke Russia by sending tanks. However, the White House wants to take that risk, says US correspondent Jan Postma, because it will hand over the tanks. The US president also mentioned many of his allies during the speech and also praised Germany for stepping up military support to Ukraine.
According to Postma, there is still broad support for Ukraine in the fight against Russia within the United States: ‘You still see Ukrainian flags on the street and you notice it even in Congress, where a large majority was in favor of the’ sending tanks. There is, however, a small section – especially among the far right – who think that too much money is going to Ukraine.’
Ukrainian President Zelensky called sending Abrams tanks via Twitter “an important step towards victory”.
The text continues below the tweet.
Modern Abrams tanks are heavily armored and largely similar to the Leopards sent from Germany. In the US, logistical issues are mostly cited as a reason not to send the tanks sooner. Abrams run on kerosene instead of diesel and are therefore much more complicated to maintain. Also, they are more difficult to control. Officials say it will take months to get the tanks into Ukraine. In the coming period, the Ukrainian military will be trained by the United States to learn how to deal with the Abrams.
According to official data, the United States owns about 6,000 Abrams. In addition to Germany, Poland and Norway have also agreed to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Several European countries would also consider deliveries now that Berlin has given permission to ship the Leopards. The United Kingdom is sending fourteen Challenger 2 tanks. Shortly before the speech, Biden called Scholz, but also British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.