Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

United States

U.S. Will Help Transfer Soviet-Made Tanks to Ukraine

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration will work with allies to transfer Soviet-made tanks to bolster Ukrainian defenses in the country’s eastern Donbas region, a U.S. official said on Friday.

The decision to act as an intermediary to help transfer the Soviet-made tanks, which Ukrainian troops know how to use, comes in response to a request from President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, the official said. It marks the first time in the war that the United States has helped transfer tanks.

The official said the transfers would begin soon, but declined to say how many tanks would be sent, or from which countries they would come. They will allow Ukraine to conduct long-range artillery strikes on Russian targets in Donbas, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

The tanks’ arrival could be another signal of a new phase in the war, which is five weeks old and has been dominated by Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities and installations from the air, and a stalled Russian advance on the ground. Earlier this week, Russian officials indicated that they were refocusing their efforts on eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian soldiers since 2014.

Mr. Zelensky called on Sunday for NATO allies to provide tanks and planes, in addition to the antitank and antiaircraft weaponry that have become a staple of the arms transfers to Ukraine from the West. Frustrated at what he views as a slow pace of weapons transfers, Mr. Zelensky asked specifically for tanks, in remarks a day after President Biden met with senior Ukrainian officials in Poland.

An angry Mr. Zelensky criticized the West for what he called its “Ping-Pong” about weapons transfers. “I’ve talked to the defenders of Mariupol today,” he said, in a reference to the besieged city that has been under an onslaught from Russia for four weeks. “If only those who have been thinking for 31 days on how to hand over dozens of jets and tanks had 1 percent of their courage.”

In the past, the Biden administration has taken pains to call the weapons it is providing to Ukraine defensive, and has focused on smaller, easily portable arms. But as the war has progressed, the definition of defensive has become more elastic.

Ukraine had already found one source of tanks, capturing at least 161 from Russia on the battlefield, according to the military analysis site Oryx, though Russia has also destroyed a number of Ukrainian tanks. For its part, Russia has captured 43 Ukrainian tanks, according to analysts who study photos and videos on social media.

The decision to help transfer the tanks comes as the Ukrainian military has continued to turn back Russia’s ground advance. Pentagon officials have been quick to point out that Russia’s pivot to Donbas and away from capturing Kyiv, the capital, might be a necessity for Moscow after Russian forces stalled out in the central part of the country.

On Wednesday, Biden administration officials, citing declassified U.S. intelligence, said that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had been misinformed by his advisers about the Russian military’s problems in Ukraine. The intelligence, American officials said, also showed what appeared to be growing tension between Mr. Putin and his defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, who was once among the most trusted members of the Kremlin’s inner circle.

Russian officials have disputed the allegations, with the Kremlin on Thursday calling it a “complete misunderstanding” of the situation that could have “bad consequences.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like

Politics

The discussions are in very preliminary stages and a proposal has not been presented to President Joe Biden for a decision, the sources added....

United States

ATLANTA — Early voting turnout in Georgia’s primary elections surged past previous milestones, signaling an energized electorate in a newly minted political battleground that...

Europe

American coffee giant Starbucks is leaving Russia after 15 years in the country, the company announced in a statement Monday. While Starbucks announced at...

Politics

Within hours, his White House aides insisted that the President’s comments did not constitute any official US policy change, despite the fact that Biden...

United States

WASHINGTON — President Biden’s decision on Monday to try to align with Asian partners to form an economic bloc against China comes at a...

Politics

A judge’s decision Friday to issue a preliminary injunction on attempts by the Biden administration to end the Title 42 public health order may...

Europe

LONDON — Photographs which appear to show U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson drinking at a potentially rule-breaking party have been published by ITV News....

Technology

DAVOS, Switzerland — Technology giants SAP and Cloudflare are continuing to enable Moscow and should pull out of Russia, Ukraine Minister of Digital Transformation...