Rishi Sunak ‘pledges to deliver tank squadron to Ukraine’

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has reportedly agreed to deliver a squadron of tanks to Ukraine to aid the country’s efforts in re-taking territory lost to Russian forces.

Four British Army Challenger 2 main battle tanks will reportedly be sent to eastern Europe immediately, with eight more to follow shortly afterwards.

According to The Sun, a Downing St source said Mr Sunak will inform Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about the plan on Saturday.

NATO exercise Bold Dragon
Four British Army Challenger 2 main battle tanks will reportedly be sent to eastern Europe immediately, with eight more to follow shortly afterwards (Ben Birchall/PA)

A Downing Street source told the paper: “The Prime Minister has been clear that the UK has to stand by its commitment to Ukraine, and that includes ensuring it has the critical equipment to defend itself and change the battlefield equation.”

The reported move would make the UK the first Western power to supply the Ukrainians with main battle tanks.

Earlier this week, Western officials warned Ukraine would not be able to take back significant territory from Russia without an increase in fighting power – including tanks and other heavy armour.

There have been concerns within Nato that supplying tanks could be regarded by the Russians as a further escalation of the conflict.

It comes after the US promised 50 Bradley tank-killing armoured vehicles in its biggest military assistance package to date for Ukraine.

Germany also announced it would supply around 40 Marder armoured personnel carriers and France promised wheeled AMX-10 RC tank destroyers.

The Ministry of Defence and Downing St have been contacted for comment.