Czech Republic sends tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine

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A Ukrainian service member drives a captured Russian T-72 tank, in the recently liberated village of Lukianivka in Kyiv region, Ukraine March 27, 2022. REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko/File Photo

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PRAGUE, April 5 (Reuters) – The Czech Republic has sent T-72 tanks and BVP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, a Czech defense source told Reuters on Tuesday, confirming a local media report .

State broadcaster Czech Television initially reported on the shipment, showing footage on Twitter of a train loaded with five tanks and five combat vehicles. He said the cargo was a gift agreed with NATO allies.

The broadcaster said the information was confirmed by the head of the Czech lower house’s EU affairs committee, Ondrej Benesik, who told Reuters he had received the information from his Christian party’s expert. Democrat on defense.

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The source, from the Czech defense community, also confirmed that the tanks and combat vehicles had been dispatched, but declined to give further details, citing security concerns.

Defense Minister Jana Cernochova told parliament she would neither confirm nor deny details of Czech aid to Ukraine.

“I will only assure you that the Czech Republic (…) helps Ukraine as much as it can and will continue to help Ukraine by (providing) military equipment, both light and heavy,” Cernochova said. .

A defense ministry spokesman said the Czech Republic had sent military aid worth nearly a billion crowns ($45 million) to Ukraine since the war began on 24 February, but declined to give further details.

Czech vehicles are just the latest example of military hardware coming from the West. Germany on April 1 approved the delivery to Ukraine of several dozen infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) amid criticism that Berlin has not sent enough military aid to kyiv. Read more

NATO allies will discuss delivering more weapons to Ukraine when foreign ministers meet on Wednesday and Thursday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

($1 = 22.1960 Czech crowns)

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Reporting by Robert Muller and Jan Lopatka; Editing by David Goodman and David Holmes

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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