Ukrainian tank crews arrive in UK for Challenger 2 tank training

29 January, 06:06 PM
Ukrainian tankers have arrived in Britain for training (Photo:@DefenceHQ / Twitter)

Ukrainian tankers have arrived in Britain for training (Photo:@DefenceHQ / Twitter)

Ukrainian tank crews have arrived in the United Kingdom to start training on Challenger 2 tanks, the UK Ministry of Defense reported on Twitter on Jan. 29.

The ministry's press office wrote that the Ukrainian tank crews will be "training for their continued fight against Russia."

The UK is providing Ukraine with modern main battle tanks alongside other nations. The UK Ministry of Defense said the provision of the tanks "demonstrates the strength of support for Ukraine, internationally."

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In the middle of January, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged 14 Challenger 2 battle tanks for Ukraine. The UK was the first Western country that announced a positive response on the Kyiv's request for main battle tanks.

Poland then offered 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks, but because they are German-made, Warsaw needed to obtain permission from Berlin to export the tanks to Ukraine.

German Chancellor Scholz, however, was slow to provide such permission, and even as late as the eighth meeting of Ukraine’s military allies at the Ramstein U.S. airbase in Germany on Jan. 20 Germany was still insisting the no decision had been made on the provision of tanks to Ukraine.

However, the United States then announced on Jan. 25 that it would send 31 Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine, leaving Scholz little choice politically to acquiesce to Ukraine and its other allies’ request that Germany allow Leopard 2 tanks to be sent to Ukraine.

Several other countries have since confirmed that they plan to send Leopard 2 tanks to aid Ukraine in its fight to repel the Russian invasion.

The British Army’s Challenger 2 battle tanks are expected to arrive in Ukraine at the end of March.

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