President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that the United States is sending 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine in its war against Russia.
He said that the U.S. will provide the necessary training and supplies needed to operate and run these tanks.
The president said that sending tanks will enhance Ukraine's capacity to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives because they are the most capable tanks in the world. That's what this is about - helping Ukraine defend and protect Ukrainian land. The president said that it was not an offensive threat to Russia, but there is no offensive threat to Russia.
Senior administration officials said the announcement was a continuation of our efforts to provide Ukraine with the capabilities that they need to continue to defend themselves during a background call that featured Biden's remarks. A senior administration official said that it was in keeping with that representative of a long term commitment that we have to Ukraine's defense needs.
Senior administration officials also stressed that 31 M 1 Abrams tanks are the equivalent of a Ukrainian tank battalion.
The reason for 31 is because that is how many tanks would constitute a Ukrainian Tank Battalion, an official said. We are specifically meeting that requirement. A senior administration official said that the U.S. will provide a training program to keep the tanks up and running, as well as eight M 88 recovery vehicles to go along with the Abrams tanks that will provide recovery operations to make sure that the Ukrainians are able to keep these Abrams up and running.