The Biden administration is sending an entire battalion of 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, yielding to President Volodymyr Zelensky‘s push for heavy armor to counter Russia’s invasion.
President Joe Biden announced the latest tranche of lethal military aide for Ukraine at the White House, after a complicated diplomatic dance that has Germany announcing its own decision to send 14 of its own tanks to Kiev, with more on the way.
The U.S. is providing 500 armored vehicles as part of the package.
He called the M1 Abrams tanks ‘the most capable tanks in the world’ and said they would ‘enhance Ukraine’s capacity to defend its territory to achieve its strategic objectives.’ He said Ukraine would use the armor to ‘liberate their land.’
He also cautioned that the move was ‘going to take time’ – a reference to the complex training involved with the weapons system, which he described as ‘extremely complex to operate and maintain.’