Pentagon to send Ukraine battle tanks to help in its war with Russia


WASHINGTON – The Biden administration plans to send more than 30 of its frontline battle tanks to Ukraine, a move intended to unlock Germany’s reluctance to supply its own main battle tank to bolster Ukrainian forces battling Russia, according to a U.S. official.

Modern, capable tanks are seen as critical to Ukraine’s ability to resist an expected springtime offensive by Russian forces and to help the Ukrainians claw back parts of their country seized during the invasion ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Ukrainians operate Russian and Soviet-era tanks. Western tanks would provide them with vehicles that have more firepower, mobility and armor.

The Pentagon has resisted sending the tanks, citing the heavy  maintenance they require as well as their need for jet fuel for its engine. Germany’s Leopard tank, which several European allies use, runs on easier-to-source diesel fuel.

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