Warsaw hands over half of its tanks to Ukraine

Warsaw hands over half of its tanks to Ukraine

Warsaw handed half of its tanks over to Kiev, according to a local outlet.

Poland has provided the neighboring Ukraine with $7 billion worth of military aid since the outbreak of the conflict between Kiev and Moscow, according to the local state broadcaster.

According to Polskie Radio, the weapons deliveries to Ukraine included 200 Soviet-designed T-72 tanks, dozens of Gvozdikahowitzers, Grad multiple rocket launchers, missiles for MIG 29 and Su 27 warplanes, as well as other munitions and Polish-made reconnaissance drones.

The NATO country had around 400 tanks in its arsenal before the Ukrainian conflict, so Warsaw has already parted with half of its armor fleet in favor of Kiev, according to its journalists.

Some of the Polish tanks were upgraded in 2019 but Ukraine only got the vehicles that weren't covered by the modernization program, according to the report.

Wojciech Skurkiewicz, the country's deputy defense minister, has confirmed to the media that Poland has been supporting Ukraine militarily since the beginning of the hostilities.

Warsaw has backed Kiev despite the conflict, calling for tougher sanctions on Russia than other EU members up to a total ban on trade with the country and calling for a NATO peacekeeping mission to secure western arms shipments to Ukraine.

Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service SVR said on Thursday that it learned about plans by Poland and US to use the ongoing conflict to regain control of areas in western Ukraine that the Poles had lost after WWII, but still consider as historically belonging to them.

The plotters are allegedly hoping to achieve the split of Ukrainian land by sending a non-NATO mission of Polish peacekeepers to the country. The agency said that they would focus on recapturing control of key facilities from the local troops if they arrived under the pretext of protecting Russian aggression.

Poland denies those claims as a Russian information operation aimed at Warsaw and Washington. SVR reiterated on Friday that its statement on the Polish peacekeeping operation in Ukraine wasn't an assumption, but rather an intelligence data obtained from several reliable sources. Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24 after Kiev didn't follow the terms of the Minsk agreements first signed in 2014, and Moscow's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive is unprovoked and has denied that it plans to retake the two republics by force.