Ukraine announces that it will receive between 120 and 140 Western heavy tanks
Sylvie Claire / February 1, 2023
Ukraine will receive "between 120 and 140" Western heavy tanks, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kouleba said on Tuesday, a few days after the West gave the green light to such deliveries, after long procrastination.
In the "first wave of contributions", the Ukrainian armed forces will receive between 120 and 140 modern tanks of Western models," said the minister in a video on Facebook, recalling that it was German-designed Leopard 2, British Challenger 2 and American Abrams.
This is the first time Kiev has revealed the total number of these tanks that its Western allies have promised.
In recent days, several countries have expressed their intention to provide Ukraine with these vehicles quickly, following the example of the United Kingdom, which plans to provide Challengers at the end of March, and Germany, which intends to send its first Leopard 2s "at the end of March/beginning of April".
Washington, for its part, has announced the dispatch of 31 Abrams.
But the delivery process could take months, according to several chancelleries, between the needs of repair and maintenance upstream, in addition to the training of Ukrainian soldiers on these models that they have never used in the field.
In addition to these logistical problems, other countries, such as France, are hesitating at this stage before sending their stock of heavy tanks to Ukraine, fearing a possible weakening of their military capabilities.
Ukraine has already received foreign tanks in recent months, including more than 250 modernized versions of the Soviet T-72 from Poland, but until now the West has refrained from sending their modern models for fear that this would cause a new Russian escalation.