December 1, 2023


The U.S. government is reportedly set to transfer Soviet-made tanks to support Ukrainian defense efforts against continued Russian attacks in the country’s east.

A government official in Washington told the New York Times on Friday that the decision of U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration had come as a response to requests by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to support his country’s war effort with military equipment, including tanks.

Following Zelenskyy’s appeals last week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said it would be “very difficult” to supply Ukraine with tanks and jets, adding that NATO and G7 countries felt “agony” over their inability to help Ukraine more decisively.

But according to the Times report, while the official on Friday declined to say how many tanks would be sent, or from which countries they would come, the tanks would enable Ukraine to conduct long-range artillery strikes on Russian targets in Donbas, which contains the separatist provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk. The Kremlin has recognized the independence of the two provinces, using their defense as a pretext for invading Ukraine in February.

Earlier this week Russia indicated that the war would refocus on those eastern areas following weeks during which attacks on cities across the entirety of Ukraine have been executed.

The announcement was widely seen in the West as the Kremlin’s acknowledgment that Ukrainian resistance to Russian aggression had been unexpectedly fierce, forcing a strategy shift.

Also this week, U.K. and U.S. intelligence agencies shared their assessments according to which Putin is being lied to by his own advisers regarding the Russian military’s performance in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, on a trip to Poland last week, Biden reaffirmed the U.S.’s commitment to supporting Ukraine during a speech in which he said Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power,” remarks that the White House later downplayed.


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