The British defense secretary said Monday that Ukraine needed a “new level of support” to expel Russian troops from its territory, after announcing the donation of main battle tanks for the country, APA reports citing UNIAN.
“President Putin cannot win,” British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in the House of Commons. “But he’s equally certain he can continue inflicting this wanton violence and human suffering until his forces are ejected from their defensive positions and expelled from the country.”
“That requires a new level of support — the combat power only achieved by combinations of main battle tank squadrons operating alongside divisional artillery groups, and further deep precision fires, enabling targeting of Russian logistics and command nodes at greater distance," he said.
Wallace said that the UK would send “a squadron of Challenger 2 tanks, with armored recovery and repair vehicles” to Ukraine. He called it “the most significant package of combat power to date to accelerate Ukrainian success.”
It is the first time that western main battle tanks will be sent to Ukraine, Wallace said.
“Today’s package will help accelerate the conclusion of Putin’s occupation and all its brutality, and ensure that in 2023 and beyond if necessary, Ukraine retains its momentum, supported by the international community," the defense secretary added.
He also said that the UK would send Ukraine AS-90 self-propelled artillery, and “hundreds more armored and protective vehicles.”
Wallace called the replacement of Russia’s commander for its war in Ukraine “the visible tip of an iceberg of factionalism in the Russian command.”
“Putin apparently remains bullish. And with Gerasimov’s deference to the president never in doubt, we now would expect a trend back towards a Russian offensive, no matter how much loss of life accompanies it.”