Thursday, May 26, 2022

The US is helping transfer Soviet-made tanks to Ukraine to support its defenses against Russia, report says

  • One US official told The New York Times the Biden administration is working to help send tanks to Ukraine.
  • The move comes as Ukrainian President Zelenskyy continues to ask the West for tanks and planes.
  • The tanks are intended to help Ukrainian forces defend the eastern Donbas region, the official said.

The US is planning to work with allies to assist in the transfer of Soviet-made tanks to Ukrainian forces, an unnamed US official told The New York Times.

It’s the first time the US has helped deliver tanks to Ukraine since Russia invaded and comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy renewed his requests for the West to send tanks and planes.

In a late-night speech delivered earlier this week, Zelenskyy asked if the West was afraid of Russia given the “ping-pong” discussions about supplying Ukraine with weapons.

“So who runs the Euro-Atlantic community? Is it still Moscow because of intimidation?” Zelenskyy said, adding “it is impossible” to defend the besieged city of Mariupol “without a sufficient number of tanks, other armored vehicles, and, of course, aircraft.”

The official did not tell The Times which countries the tanks would be coming from or how many would be sent, but that they would allow Ukraine to better defend the eastern Donbas region with long-range artillery strikes on Russian forces.

The US previously rejected an offer from Poland to transfer Soviet-era warplanes to Ukraine, with the Pentagon saying it could pose “serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance.”

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