Ukraine needs 300-500 tanks for counteroffensive, Zelenskyy says
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:Office of the President)
Ukraine would need between 300 and 500 tanks for a major counteroffensive against Russian forces, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview with UK TV channel Sky News, published on Jan. 25.
“We need 300 or 500 tanks, at this point,” said Zelenskyy.
“That’s why I believe that we need tanks to carry out an offensive on our territory, on our land. We need armored vehicles to protect our people, that’s all.”
Zelenskyy explained that Russian tanks vastly outnumber the vehicles that Ukrainian forces have at their disposal.
He also expressed his gratitude to Europe and the United States for their decision to arm Ukraine with modern tanks.
At the same time, the president stressed there was no time to waste in getting them to the frontlines.
“I’m very happy and I would like to thank Germany, thank Britain, and thank the United States that they made such decisions,” he said.
“Overall, I’m grateful to the world for their support of Ukraine. But if we are talking frankly and honestly with you, the number of tanks and delivery time are of crucial and critical importance, in comparison to the decision that has been made. We have instances of approved weapons to be sent to us, but we still haven’t received them.”
“Sometimes, the delivery of the weapons takes months, you see. I don’t blame anyone, but, in response to your question, a sense of relief comes only after the weapons, which our partners give us, are already being used by our army.”
In mid-December, 2022, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said Ukraine needs 300 tanks.
On Jan. 25, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz officially announced that Germany would transfer 14 Leopard-2 tanks to Ukraine and approve their re-export from partner countries. According to German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, the tanks could be sent to Ukraine in about three months.
The same day, U.S. President Joe Biden announced plans to supply 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, along with the equipment and spare parts needed to keep them running. Biden added that while the delivery of Abrams will take some time, the training of the Ukrainian crews will begin as soon as possible.
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