Biden: 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine

January 25, 2023


President Biden said Wednesday the U.S. would send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine to help it “defend its sovereignty.”

During an address from the White House on continued support for Ukraine, the President said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had recommended the move because it would strengthen Ukraine’s capacity to “defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives.”

Biden also stressed the U.S. support was “not an offensive threat” to Russia.

The donation of 31 M1 Abrams tanks follows an online statement from the Russian embassy in Berlin—responding to the Germans’ giving Ukraine 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks—that sending such armory to Ukraine was an “extremely dangerous” decision that made previous “red lines…a thing of the past.”

Poland, meanwhile, also got the go-ahead from Berlin to send some of its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. 

Ukrainian crews will have to be trained in operating the tanks, which could take some time to become battle ready, once delivered to Kyiv. The U.S. is reportedly arranging for the contracting of the tanks with their manufacturer, which could take up to a year. 

In the meantime, Ukraine’s military is bogged down against the Russian army in the eastern Donbas region.

The Russian embassy in its statement said Western tanks on the Ukrainian battlefield would be a legitimate target for Russian forces and would make any prospect of peace talks even less likely.

President Biden, in announcing the American tanks to Ukraine, added that he thought Russian troops should return to Russia “where they belong.”

“This war would be over today. That’s what we all want, an end to this war,” he said.

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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