By Anna Chiaradonna || Contributing Writer
Last week, leaders of the United States and Germany announced that both nations will be supplying Ukraine with contingents of tanks, aiding Kyiv in its relentless effort to retake its territory that has been seized by Russia.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s announcement of sending Leopard 2 tanks was followed by US President Joe Biden’s statement that he is supplying 31 M1 Abrams tanks to this Eastern-European country, dismantling the Biden administration’s fixed apprehension about Kyiv’s ask for armored vehicles. These announcements come following prolonged diplomacy between Germany, the United States, and other European allies.
President Biden hopes the tanks will “enhance Ukraine’s capacity to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives” both now and in the future. Furthermore, he insists that the tanks should not be viewed by Moscow as an “offensive threat” as “there is no offensive threat to Russia if Russian troops return to Russia, where they belong.” The announcements from Scholz and Biden show that the US and its allies are still working in unison when it comes to supporting President Volodymyr Zelensky and his nation’s fight against the Russian invasion.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says that this decision “will significantly strengthen their combat capabilities.” Zelensky has consistently asked Western allies for modern tanks as his country braces for a Russian counteroffensive in the spring. A senior Biden administration official stated that the “Abrams tanks are the best in the world. This is a tremendous new capability that Ukraine will be getting to boost its long term defenses. The 31 Abrams will form a complete Ukrainian tank battalion.” Ukraine hopes the new tanks can help it retake territory seized by Russia, including in the Donbas. That could also include Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.
First-year Anna Chiaradonna is a contributing writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.