Ukraine is set to get its first wartime delivery of tanks to help bolster its defences in the east, amid warnings that the region would see “heavy battles” following Russia’s withdrawal around Kyiv.
In a significant strategy shift, United States defence sources said America would would work with allies to facilitate the transfer of Soviet-made tanks, which Ukrainians already know how to use, to enable Ukraine to conduct long-range artillery strikes on Russian targets.
The US official did not disclose how many tanks will be sent, nor which countries they will come from. However, Poland, one of the most hawkish Nato member countries when it comes to Russia, is believed to be one possible candidate.
Warsaw recently ordered US M1A2 Abram tanks to replace its Soviet T-72 battle tanks, which will be phased out of service.
The decision is in response to a direct request from President Voldymyr Zelensky late last month to Nato leaders, including Joe Biden, for more military assistance at an emergency summit in Brussels.
File photo by EPA-EFE/SERGEI ILNITSKY