FOCUS- However, the Ukrainian ambassador to France, who provided this figure, did not specify the number of tanks promised by each country. Many allies have indicated their willingness to supply tanks.
After losing several hundred tanks in a year of war, Ukraine will finally be able to replenish its stocks with tanks from allied countries. Following the British decision to deliver Challenger 2 in mid-January, Europe experienced another pivotal week with the German clearance to deliver Leopard tanks, sparking a wave of announcements from countries allied with Kyiv.
Asked on the set of BFMTV this Friday, January 27, Ukrainian Ambassador to France Vadym Omelchenko stated that “many countries have officially confirmed their agreement to deliver 321 heavy tanks to Ukraine”. President Zelenskyy said Tuesday that Ukraine needs far more tanks than “five, ten or fifteen.” According to Ukraine’s top military, General Valeri Zaloujny, quoted by the New York Times, at least 300 tanks would be needed to mark a turning point on the front lines.
This number of 321 tanks, proposed by the ambassador, is therefore good news for Ukraine, provided they can be quickly deployed on the ground ahead of a possible Russian counter-offensive in the spring. However, Vadym Omelchenko did not name the donor countries or the exact number pledged by each of them. But many have formalized their supply agreement. Le Figaro reviews promises of tank supplies among Ukraine’s allies.
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Most of the heavy tanks delivered to Kyiv are said to be German Leopard 2s, which, according to the Blablachars specialist blog, are one of the most important tanks in this area with 2260 examples in NATO member countries in Europe. Berlin has set itself the goal of forming two battalions of these tanks, i.e. one hundred units, with the other committed partner countries. Specifically theGermanyannounced through the voice of his head of state Olaf Scholz the delivery of 14 Leopard 2 Type 2A6 from the stocks of his army, the Bundeswehr.
TO HAVEIN ADDITION – Germany delivers Leopard tanks to Ukraine in late March, early April
The Leopard Coalition
the Poland for its part, formalized the delivery of 14 of these German-made tanks. And Warsaw on Thursday announced it would deliver around sixty additional tanks, including 30 PT-91s, a modernized version of the Soviet T-72, a decision the Ukrainian president welcomed on Friday. “I thank (…) for such important decisions to supply Ukraine with 60 Polish tanks, including 30 PT-91s, as well as 14 Leopards,” Volodymyr Zelensky declared on Twitter, two days after the announcement that Germany and the United States would supply heavy tanks to Kyiv. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also recalled on television that Poland had “supplied 250 tanks (…) and more” to Ukraine since the beginning of the war. Most of them are Soviet-designed T-72 tanks.
If almost all Leopard tanks of NATO member countries are in Europe, thecanadian army which chose German tanks is an exception. And the country in this case, through the voice of its defense minister, announced the delivery of four Leopard 2.
In the cascade of announcements that followed the German Chancellor’s comments, the Norway also announced its intention to supply Leopards. “We must support Ukraine in this defensive war,” Defense Minister Bjon Arild Gram said, without giving the exact number. Norway could supply 8 Leopard tanks out of 36 it has, according to Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.
To complete the Leopard 2 battalions, several NATO countries with these tanks have also announced they will join this effort, without necessarily specifying the number of tanks. L’Spain Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles said it was “ready” to send Leopard heavy tanks, but also to “train” Ukrainian soldiers for their “deployment” and “maintenance.” According to the Spanish press, Madrid could withdraw from its base in Zaragoza, where around a hundred tanks are stored, of which 53 units are operational, of which at least twenty are rapidly deployable. His neighbor the Portugal also offered to supply Leopard 2 tanks.
the Finland, for its part, has formalized its cooperation to “create a separate platform to reinforce Ukraine with armored vehicles, especially tanks,” according to the statement of its president. The Finnish President, whose army is armed with more than 200 Leopard 2 tanks, mentioned a possible contribution and insisted on a training role on the Finnish side.
Challenger and Abrams
the Sweden announced without giving a number that the supply of its main battle tank, the Stridsvagn 122, an improved version of the Leopard 2, was not impossible. Other countries have also expressed openness to such a possibility, without confirming delivery for the time being. Denmark and country–Low are in this case.
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The Leopard 2 will be joined by the 14 Challenger 2 tanks promised to Ukraine by the United Kingdom. The British were the first to announce on January 14 that they would supply Kyiv with heavy tanks. And this Thursday, Secretary of Defense Alex Chalk made it clear before Parliament that the government would ensure that these tanks arrive “at the end of March.”
the United States, meanwhile, awaited announcements from Britain and Germany to state that they would be sending 31 Abrams heavy tanks. This valuable announcement comes on top of a total of $24.2 billion in US military aid since the Russian offensive in Ukraine began on February 24, 2022.
TO HAVEIN ADDITION – Biden says delivering tanks to Ukraine ‘will take time’