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Russia Claps Back at Biden’s Tank Deliveries in Ukraine

American Defense News has previously reported about the Biden Administration sending M1 tanks to Ukraine. Russia responded Thursday for the first time regarding the decision by President Biden to send Abrams M1 tanks to Ukraine, accusing it of “direct involvement in the conflict.”

The Report
In a major reversal, the Biden Administration plans to send advanced M1 Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine according to U.S. officials. The announcement is set to take place as soon as Wednesday and may spark numerous other countries to also supply tanks to Ukraine. Germany has stressed that supplying tanks to Ukraine must be a joint operation and not solely done by European nations.

The Coalition
Poland had plans to send Leoapard tanks to Ukraine, but Germany was getting in the way. The U.S. and other allies have pushed Germany to provide the vehicles. The Leopard 2 tanks are considered to be the best suited for Ukraine’s conflict. Germany caved to the pressure from the U.S. and their defense minister responded to this pressure on Sunday. Germany will not stop Poland from delivering Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, Germany’s foreign minister announced.

The Leopards are German made, and protocol states that the tank can not be sent to Ukraine unless the transfer is approved by Germany, which has not occurred. But now, Poland says they will seek to form a small coalition of nations who will send their Leopards to Ukraine and Berlin’s approval is of “secondary importance.” “We will ask for such permission, but this is an issue of secondary importance. Even if we did not get this approval…we would still transfer our tanks together with others to Ukraine,” Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki told reporters.

Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania seem to be the likely coalition that will join Poland and send Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

The Russians
In Russia, Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s parliament, said that providing more weapons to Ukraine risks “global tragedy that would destroy” Western countries. “Supplies of offensive weapons to the Kyiv regime would lead to a global catastrophe. If Washington and NATO supply weapons that would be used for striking peaceful cities and making attempts to seize our territory as they threaten to do, it would trigger a retaliation with more powerful weapons,” said Volodin.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also stated that “All the countries that directly or indirectly take part in the pumping [of Ukraine] with weapons and in raising their technological level, are all responsible for it.”

Russia Claps Back
During his Wednesday announcement, Biden said the shipment of tanks that he classified as the “most capable tanks in the world” were not “an offensive threat to Russia.” Fox News reports Russia saying,

“We categorically disagree with this, and in Moscow, everything that the alliance and the capitals I mentioned are doing is seen as direct involvement in the conflict. We see that this is growing.”
Russian officials have repeatedly accused the U.S. and NATO allies of being directly involved in the conflict despite the lack of Western troops in the war.

Senior defense officials described the Abrams tanks as the “best in the world” in a background call Wednesday, but Moscow has remained largely unreactive to the news from Washington despite accusing Germany of escalating the war following its decision to send Leopard 2 tanks earlier on Wednesday.

However, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov clapped back at this and said, “There are constant statements from European capitals and Washington that the sending of various weapons systems to Ukraine, including tanks, in no way signifies the involvement of these countries or the alliance in hostilities in Ukraine.”

The Americans
Over the weekend, Sens. Lindsey Graham met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss the matter of sending tanks. Graham released a statement saying:

“The debacle regarding sending tanks to Ukraine must end. It is impossible for Ukraine to expel Russia without tanks. I am hoping Germany and the United States will both send tanks ASAP – opening up other countries’ desire to help Ukraine. The tanks are outcome determinative in expelling Russia from Ukraine.”

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2 months ago

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