Germany’s defence ministry has confirmed that 18 Leopard 2 tanks have been delivered to Ukraine after its soldiers received training in how to use them. Similarly, UK Challenger II tanks recently arrived in Ukraine and the first of Canada’s tanks have arrived in Poland.
The Spanish government said in February that it woud send 10 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and Finland is sending three tanks, as well as providing training. At the time Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, told Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky: “You are not alone in this war. We will stand with Ukraine as long as necessary.”
Finnish defence minister Mikko Savola said: “We will send more defence material and participate in the Leopard co-operation together with our partners.”
At least 28 countries have committed to arming Ukraine in its war against Russia. Zelensky had previously warned in his address to the nation that his country was bracing for a possible major Russian offensive this spring.
Lord Dannatt, the former head of the British Army, said early in February that any new push will “fail in bloody fashion” with morale among Putin-aligned troops low after setbacks.
At least 80 elite armoured vehicles have been promised by the West to help Kyiv’s forces, and the war is now beyond the one-year mark.
Here is what we know about what is being supplied so far.
What tanks is the UK sending to Ukraine?
The UK has now sent a number of the 14 Challenger II tanks it promised. Ukraine’s minister of defence thanked the UK for them, sharing a video of him giving one a test drive.
It was a pleasure to take the first Ukrainian Challenger 2 MBT for a spin.
Such tanks, supplied by the United Kingdom, have recently arrived in our country.
These fantastic machines will soon begin their combat missions.
Thank you, @RishiSunak, @BWallaceMP, and the 🇬🇧 people. pic.twitter.com/zoCRmKdBnN
— Oleksii Reznikov (@oleksiireznikov) March 28, 2023
The Challenger II was designed from 1986 to 1993 and saw action in Bosnia as well as the Iraq War.
The Johnson government had been reluctant to commit tanks throughout 2022 but, under new prime minister Rishi Sunak, it was announced the tanks would be deployed to Ukraine, alongside 30 AS-90 155mm self-propelled guns, as well as armoured repair and recovery vehicles.
Mr Sunak’s announcement came alongside other countries announcing they would send tanks to Ukraine also. In January, Ukrainian troops began arriving in the UK to begin training with the model.
How many tanks are being sent to Ukraine?
Lord Dannatt has predicted British Challenger II tanks and Leopard 2s supplied by other European nations may be delivered in time for Ukraine to seize back territory.
At the time the Ukrainian defence minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said not all Western weaponry will have arrived by the start of the fresh Russian assault.
The United States has promised to send 31 Abrams tanks but they are not expected to arrive until the end of the year.
Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks are said to be the best option for Ukraine, as they are easier to operate and are used by 20 governments across the world. German chancellor Olaf Scholz said he hoped foreign help could provide Ukraine with 88 tanks in total. In late March, it was disclosed that 18 of these were delivered to Ukrainian crews.
These are the tanks that have been pledged so far.
Germany: 18 Leopard 2 tanks
UK: 14 Challenger II tanks
US: 31 Abrams tanks
Poland: 14 Leopard 2 tanks
Finland: Undisclosed number of Leopard 2 tanks
Norway: Undisclosed number of Leopard 2 tanks
Spain: Undisclosed number of Leopard 2 tanks
Canada: Undisclosed number of Leopard 2 tanks
Netherlands: Undisclosed number of tanks
Spain: 10 Leopard 2 tanks
Finland: Three Leopard 2 tanks
How many tanks does Ukraine have?
Ukraine started the war with 900 Soviet-made T-64s, T-72s, and T-80s, and has captured hundreds of Russian tanks, although some of these are in a state of disrepair.
It has been reported that Ukrainians have lost 450 tanks in total, so around half its original fleet.