UK to ship Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, Quantity 10 confirms | Politics Information

Britain is to ship Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine to bolster the struggle effort in opposition to invading Russian forces.

Extra artillery help can also be to be despatched by the UK to help the Kyiv authorities within the face of Kremlin aggression.

The announcement comes after Sky Information solely revealed the UK was considering supplying Ukraine with British tanks for the primary time.

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The transfer makes the UK the primary Western energy to provide the Ukrainians with predominant battle tanks.

UK authorities insiders stated the choice needed to be made now with a purpose to guarantee Ukrainian troopers might be skilled of their use earlier than an impending spring offensive.

Ministers hope the announcement will encourage different allies to comply with swimsuit.

Following a name between Rishi Sunak and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday, a Quantity 10 spokesperson stated the 2 leaders had agreed on the “must seize on this second” after Ukrainian victories had “pushed Russian troops again”.

The spokesperson added: “The prime minister outlined the UK’s ambition to accentuate our help to Ukraine, together with by way of the supply of Challenger 2 tanks and extra artillery programs.

“The prime minister confused that he and the entire UK authorities could be working intensively with worldwide companions to ship quickly the form of help which is able to enable Ukraine to press their benefit, win this struggle and safe a long-lasting peace.”

Mr Zelenskyy tweeted: “All the time robust help of the UK is now impenetrable and prepared for challenges. In a dialog with the prime minister, I thanked for the choices that won’t solely strengthen us on the battlefield, but additionally ship the best sign to different companions.”

Labour’s shadow defence secretary John Healey stated: “Trendy tanks are essential to Ukraine’s efforts to win its battle in opposition to Russian aggression.

“The federal government has Labour’s fullest backing for navy help to Ukraine.

“However ministers should transfer past advert hoc bulletins and set out a plan for navy, financial and diplomatic help by way of 2023 and past.

“As the primary anniversary of Russia’s invasion approaches, it will assist reassure Ukrainians that Britain will stand with them for so long as it takes and sign to Putin that issues will worsen not higher for Russia.”

Earlier this week, Western officers warned Ukraine wouldn’t have the ability to take again vital territory from Russia with out a rise in combating energy, together with tanks and different heavy armour.

The US has promised 50 Bradley tank-killing armoured automobiles in its largest navy help package deal up to now for Ukraine.

Germany additionally introduced it might provide round 40 Marder armoured personnel carriers and France promised wheeled AMX-10 RC tank destroyers.

Ukraine has lengthy requested the mass-produced, German-made Leopard II tanks, utilized by a number of European allies, together with Germany, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands and Spain.

Warsaw and Helsinki have already signalled a willingness to provide their Leopard tanks to Kyiv however this requires approval from Berlin as a result of Germany holds the export licence.

Final 12 months, the UK despatched 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Poland as a part of a deal to assist Ukraine by releasing up capability for Warsaw to provide its Soviet-era T-72 tanks to Kyiv.

In service since 1994, the Challenger 2 tank weighs 62.5 tonnes and is armed with a 120mm rifled gun and a 7.62mm chain gun.

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