OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 7:14 AM PT – Wednesday, January 25, 2023
The Biden administration is preparing to send heavy battle tanks to Ukraine to aid in the war against Russia.
Although the Biden administration had previously stated that it will not send tanks to Ukraine due to the heavy logistical cost and maintenance that is required, more than 30 M1 Abrams tanks are now expected to be sent to Ukraine.
The move is seen as a necessary step by the White House for Ukraine to help bolster their forces, and for the country to be able to resist an expected springtime offensive push by Russian forces.
The Ukrainians are currently operating Soviet-era tanks, sending them the modern heavy battle tanks is expected to help them slowly start taking back parts of their country that have been taken by Russian forces.
Germany has also announced on Wednesday morning that it will also be sending 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks to aid the Ukrainians.
“This decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the best of our ability,” the German Chancellor Olaf Sholz said.
Sholz also announced that other European countries will be sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine as well, although he did not announce the countries or how many tanks they will send. In addition to sending the Leopard 2 tanks, Germany will also send ammunition, system maintenance, and other logistical support.
The White House has already sent Ukraine around $27 billion in military support since the war began in February of last year. With the new aid that is expected, Ukrainian forces will now be operating the same tanks and armored personnel carriers that United States’ frontline troops currently operate.
The M1 Abrams tanks is a fast heavily armored tanks weighing around 70 tons, with a 120 mm cannon and .50-caliber machine gun. The tank was first developed during the Cold War and saw combat for the first time in Operation Desert Storm in Iraq in the early 1990s.
The shipment of heavy tanks that the U.S. will be sending to Ukraine are reportedly valued at around $400 million.