Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been asking for more tanks and weapons for a few weeks, and now a NATO country has answered his call and sent tanks across the border.
Ukrainian forces are due to receive more than two dozen BYP-1 infantry fighting vehicles and T-72 tanks on Wednesday, which will infuriate Vladimir Putin.
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President Zelensky said the tanks were desperately needed to help besieged towns “that are now dying”.
Jana Cernochova, the Czech Defense Minister, told parliament: “I only assure you that the Czech Republic helps Ukraine as much as it can and will continue to help by (providing) military equipment, light and heavy.” .
On Saturday, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the UK would send state-of-the-art anti-ship missile systems to Ukraine, making them “legitimate targets” and “making it bloodier,” a Russian official warned.
Russia’s ambassador to the UK, Andrey Kelin, told Russian news agency TASS that these “high-precision weapons” would be “destabilizing”.
Kelin warned: “Any supply of weapons is destabilizing, especially the ones Wallace talked about.
“They are making the situation worse, making it even more bloody. These are apparently new, fairly high-precision weapons.
“Of course, they will be legitimate targets for our armed forces if they cross the Ukrainian border.”
Last Tuesday, Moscow reacted furiously against the West and threatened to “react adequately” if NATO supplied Ukraine with “aircraft and air defense systems”.
Vladimir Putin’s loyal defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, has warned that Moscow will react “adequately” if NATO countries supply fighter jets and air defense systems to Ukraine.
Prague’s decision to send tanks will put more pressure on NATO to deliver more weapons to Ukraine.