Russia-Ukraine war: Ukrainian officials said Thursday that Russia has launched a wave of missile and self-exploding drone attacks on the country. Air raid sirens wailed nationwide, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or of the missiles and drones striking targets.
The attacks came after Germany and the United States announced Wednesday that they will send advanced battle tanks to Ukraine, offering what one expert called an “armoured punching force” to help Kyiv break combat stalemates as the Russian invasion enters its 12th month.
US announces to send M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that his country will send 31 M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, reversing months of persistent arguments that the tanks were too difficult for Ukrainian troops to operate and maintain.
The U.S. decision came on the heels of Germany agreeing to send 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks from its own stocks. Germany had said the Leopards would not be sent unless the U.S. put its Abrams on the table, not wanting to incur Russia’s wrath without the U.S. similarly committing its own tanks.
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Biden said that in total European allies have agreed to send enough tanks to equip two Ukrainian tank battalions, or a total of about 62 tanks.
“With spring approaching, Ukrainian forces are working to defend the territory they hold and preparing for additional counter offenses,” Biden said in his announcement of his decision to send the tanks. “To liberate their land, they need to be able to counter Russia’s evolving tactics and strategy on the battlefield in the very near term.”