The UK will supply Ukraine with twice as many Challenger 2 tanks as promised, as well as increase the supply of AS-90 self-propelled howitzers and the number of Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) fighters to be trained in the country. This was stated on March 4 by the Ukrainian ambassador to London, Vadym Prystaiko, in an interview with the Ukrainian service of Radio Liberty (this material concerns the activities of a foreign agent of Radio Liberty).
He noted that the British side decided to increase the supply of tanks after the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to London.
“As for tanks, we were promised 14 tanks, and as a result of the visit of President Zelensky, an agreement was reached that this number will double. <…> We will now receive 33 AS-90 155mm mounts from Britain,” Prystaiko said.
According to him, the UK also proposed to increase the number of fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, whom it is ready to train, by 2.5 times. Since the beginning of the conflict, 25,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been trained under the guidance of British advisers.
At the same time, Prystaiko said that Kyiv is facing difficulties in its attempts to convince Western countries to supply it with military aircraft.
Earlier, on February 22, the Daily Mail newspaper reported that a significant part of the British Army’s Challenger 2 tanks are considered incapable of combat. According to the publication, less than 100 of the 227 military vehicles in service with the country can be considered workers. 14 of them will be transferred to Ukraine as military support. Experts believe that Britain will experience a shortage of tanks for at least four years.
Also, Russian Ambassador to London Andrei Kelin suggested on February 13 that the UK could transfer Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine by March-April. According to him, the Challenger 2 is a rather complex, heavy machine. Currently, the military of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are learning how to manage it.
On February 8, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised to deliver Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine in March. He also stated that he does not exclude any option of military assistance to Kyiv.
On January 26, British First Deputy Secretary of Defense Alex Chuck noted that the Challenger 2 tanks promised by London should arrive in Ukraine at the end of March. From January 30, the UK should start training the Ukrainian military on its territory, the deputy minister added.
On January 16, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace announced that London would supply Kyiv with a company of Challenger 2 tanks, AS-90 guns, and Bulldog armored personnel carriers. The deliveries will also include about 100,000 artillery shells and 100 upgraded missiles.
Sunak on January 14 called on the allies to speed up the supply of military equipment to the Kyiv regime. According to him, now is the most opportune moment for this.
Prior to this, on January 12, Prystaiko asked the Western allies for thousands of tanks, stressing that Kyiv would like to receive such equipment. In particular, it was about the British Challenger, American Abrams and German Leopard.
Western countries have stepped up military and financial support for Kyiv against the backdrop of a special operation of the Russian Federation to protect Donbass, the decision on which was made against the backdrop of aggravation in the region due to shelling by the Ukrainian military.
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