German Leopard 2 tanks heading to Ukraine
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Wednesday that his country would provide 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks for Ukraine's military, a move that follows months of diplomatic pressure from Kyiv. It comes ahead of an expected announcement from the White House about sending M1 Abrams tanks to battlefields in Ukraine.
Hi, I'm Nicole Fallert with an update on the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
The Biden administration plans to send more than 30 of its front-line battle tanks to Ukraine to bolster Ukrainian forces battling Russia, according to a U.S. official. The White House is expected to officially announce its plans for the tanks today.
"This decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the best of our ability," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at a Cabinet meeting in Berlin, adding that the decision had been coordinated with international partners. Berlin’s perceived foot-dragging, most recently on the Leopard 2 tanks that Kyiv has long sought, is rooted at least partly in a post-World War II political culture of military caution, along with present-day worries about a possible escalation in the war.
Scholz said other European partners would also be handing over Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. He didn't say how many. In addition to training, Germany's package of support will include logistics, ammunition and system maintenance, he said.
More from the front lines:
Ukrainian forces say they have conducted an organized retreat from a town in the eastern region of the Donbas, handing the Kremlin’s forces a rare but modest battlefield triumph. A Ukrainian military official said Wednesday that the Ukrainian army retreated from Soledar to “preserve the lives of the personnel.”
Fifteen journalists have been killed in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, mostly during the early stages of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to a new report by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Associated Press contributed reporting.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: German Leopard 2 tanks heading to Ukraine