Polish officials told The Wall Street Journal that Poland has sent 240 Soviet-designed T-72 tanks to Ukraine, demonstrating how the US and its NATO allies are escalating military aid to Kyiv.
So far, Poland has given Ukraine about half of its T-72s. To replace them, the US is selling Warsaw 250 Abrams tanks, and the UK has offered to send Poland some British tanks.
The officials said the tanks were sent alongside self-propelled howitzers, Grad truck-mounted rocket launchers, and other Soviet-era military equipment. Poland has emerged as the EU’s strongest supporter of Ukraine against Russia and sent the heavy equipment as other countries, such as Germany and France, were weighing the risk of escalation.
Germany had come under pressure for not sending heavy equipment to Ukraine, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had warned of the risk of nuclear war. But Berlin caved under pressure and announced this week it would send Gepard anti-aircraft tanks to the Ukrainians.
Germany is now reportedly considering providing Ukraine with long-range howitzers. The US started sending howitzers to the Ukrainians for the first time earlier in April and is training Ukrainian forces on how to use the weapons. The Pentagon revealed Friday that some of the training is taking place in Germany.
On Thursday, President Biden asked Congress for a new $33 billion aid package for Ukraine, including $20.4 billion for military aid. He said the massive request “begins the transition to longer-term security assistance.”