The United States plans to supply Kyiv with roughly 30 M1 Abrams tanks, U.S. officials said Tuesday, a move aimed at resolving a dispute with Germany over which nation would send battle tanks to Ukraine.
Germany had previously said that a U.S. decision to send Abramses would help ease the way for it to send its own Leopard 2s, but later denied that there was any “linkage.”
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
For Ukraine, what’s so special about Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks? The Leopard battle tank was introduced in 1979 and has since been upgraded several times, gaining a reputation as one of the best battle tanks in the world. It is more advanced than many of the Soviet-era tanks fielded by both Russian and Ukrainian forces, The Washington Post’s Adam Taylor, William Neff and Daniel Wolfe write.
Other countries have offered different tanks: The United States will send its Bradley Fighting Vehicles but not its M1 Abrams tanks, while Britain has promised 14 Challenger 2 models this month. But the Leopard 2’s speed and ease of use — as well as the fact that there are many of them already in Europe — have made them more attractive to Kyiv. Even older versions of the tank have modern optics, including thermal imaging, that allow them to operate day and night.
Natalia Abbakumova, Vanessa Guinan-Bank, Shane Harris, John Hudson, Isabelle Khurshudyan, Dan Lamothe and Amar Nadhir contributed to this report.