Ukraine will receive ‘double’ number of Challenger 2 tanks than Britain originally promised ‘as a result of Zelensky’s visit’, Ukrainian ambassador claims
- Vadym Prystaiko made the comments during a radio interview
- The Defense Department says there are currently no plans to increase the number
Ukraine will receive ‘double’ the number of Challenger 2 tanks than Britain originally promised to send, according to the Ukrainian ambassador to the UK.
Vadym Prystaiko has said Britain will double the original 14 tanks that were to be sent to support Ukraine’s fight against Russia following President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to the UK in February.
The ambassador’s comments came out during an interview with the European broadcaster Radio Freedom.
Prystaiko said, “We have been promised 14 tanks and as a result of President Zelensky’s visit it has been agreed that this number will double.”
Describing the moment when Britain originally promised to send the tanks, he called it a “breakthrough” because it was “necessary to overcome the unwillingness of all the other allies.”
A Challenger II tank is seen at a UK military facility
Ukrainian ambassador Vadym Prystaiko has said the UK will ‘double’ the number of Challenger 2 tanks they were originally going to send
“At that point, the British were trying to convince all the other allies that there were two options: either the UK is going to go through with this announcement alone and make this breakthrough that everyone else needs to go into, or let’s take this very important step all together . as one front, as NATO,” the ambassador said.
‘The UK was successful this time. I think the same process is now happening with fighter jets.’
Prystaiko also explained that the UK has offered to more than double military training efforts by 2023 as the war in Ukraine continues.
He also claimed that Britain will offer 30 heavy guns to the front line.
The Defense Ministry said there are currently no plans to increase the number of tanks beyond the agreed figure of 14, although the Defense Secretary previously said Britain was open to expansion.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has previously said Britain is open to increasing the number of tanks sent to Ukraine
READ MORE: Britain could replace tanks sent to Ukraine if destroyed by Russians, defense minister says
Last month, President Zelensky thanked Rishi Sunak and the British people for their “steadfast support” in Ukraine’s fight against Russian forces.
Zelensky said the UK’s support in these difficult times is “invaluable” as it was one year since Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine.
In addition to supplying Ukraine with tanks, Britain also announced a new package of sanctions, including an export ban on any piece of equipment Russia has used on the battlefield.
Despite initially hesitating, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed in January to send their country’s Leopard-2 tanks and ‘Marder’ infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine.
That decision came after the United States also agreed to send 31 Abrams M1A2 tanks to Ukraine.
It is the first time since World War II that Germany has sent weapons to a war zone.
Earlier this month it was revealed that the number of Russian losses passed 150,000 according to the latest figures from Kiev.