Canada to deliver 4 Leopard tanks to Ukraine
Sylvie Claire / January 28, 2023
Canada will deliver four Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine to help it fight the Russian invasion, the defense minister announced Thursday, the day after a similar announcement by several Western countries after weeks of procrastination.
These four tanks are ready for combat and will be deployed in the coming weeks," said Anita Anand at a press conference, adding that the number of tanks delivered could "increase" in the future.
Washington and Berlin had announced Wednesday the transfer of dozens of heavy tanks to Kiev, a decision unprecedented in eleven months of war.
Immediately after these announcements, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for the supply of these tanks as soon as possible, his Ministry of Defense warning that Russian troops, "outnumbered", were "intensifying" the fighting in eastern Ukraine.
According to experts, the fear of a military escalation with Moscow was a major factor in the reluctance of the Western camp to provide heavy tanks to Kiev, but the Canadian minister said Thursday that "the reality of this war has changed" and that Ukraine's allies "must show their unity.
These heavily armored and highly protected vehicles give soldiers a tactical advantage on the battlefield due to their excellent mobility, firepower and resilience," explained Anita Anand, who said she hoped they could "enable Ukraine to liberate more of its territory.
Ottawa will also provide Kiev with trainers, spare parts and ammunition.
In total, Canada currently has 112 tanks, 82 of which are designed specifically for combat.