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Rishi Sunak vows to send squadron of tanks to Ukraine

Strictly’s Nadiya Bychkova discusses the war in Ukraine

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Rishi Sunak will send a squadron of tanks to Ukraine as part of Britain’s continued support for the country in its war with Russia. According to The Sun the Prime Minister has approved the plan, which will mark the first time Britain has supplied Ukraine with tanks.

Providing Ukraine with tanks could help the country in recapturing territory currently occupied by Russia.

There are also hopes that by providing Kyiv with such weaponry President Volodymyr Zelensky might be in a position to launch a counteroffensive in the spring.

On Saturday Mr Sunak is due to inform President Zelensky of the additional military assistance.

Sending the Challenger tanks may also be a major step in persuading Germany to send its Leopard II tanks.

According to The Sun a Downing Street source said that Mr Sunak wanted “action to speak louder than words.”

In total 12 of Britain’s Challenger 2 tanks will be sent to Ukraine.

Initially four will be sent before eight are sent at a later date.

Challenger 2 tanks are highly valued in the British military and have been operational for 25 years.

Each tank weighs 62.5 tonnes, with a 120mm rifled gun and 7.62mm chain gun.

However the Ukrainian military has said that it needs around 300 tanks from allies to launch an effective counteroffensive against Russian forces.

Former commander of 1st Royal Tank Regiment, Colonel Hamish de Bretton Gordon previously said that western tanks could “tip the balance” of the war in Ukraine’s favour.

He said: “Strategically this sends a very firm message to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin that nothing is off the table.

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“Challenger 2 and Leopard II are modern tanks.

“They are much better protected, more reliable, quicker.”

The Challenger 2 tanks have been used by the British military in Estonia this week and have previously featured in the 1994 Bosnia and 2003 Iraq conflicts.

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