HomeWorld NewsUkraine gets 90 refurbished T-72B tanks from the US, the Netherlands and...

Ukraine gets 90 refurbished T-72B tanks from the US, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic

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The United States, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic have teamed up to send 90 refurbished T-72B main battle tanks to Ukraine as part of the Biden administration’s latest $400 million weapons package.

The tanks, which have “advanced optics, communications and armor packages,” “will further enhance Ukraine’s proficient armored warfare capabilities,” according to the Pentagon.

Ukraine has been calling for more tanks and other armored vehicles as winter approaches.

“We are fighting the war from our vans,” a Ukrainian soldier told Radio Free Europe last month. “It’s going to be very difficult for us.”

A Ukrainian service member drives a captured Russian T-72 tank, as in the liberated village of Lukianivka, in the Kyiv region, Ukraine.
(REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko)

The Pentagon will pay for 45 of the refurbished T-72B tanks from the Czech defense industry’s inventory, while the Netherlands will provide funding for the other 45. The tanks will start arriving in Ukraine next month.

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Until now, the US has refused to provide more modern tanks, such as the M-1 Abrams main battle tanks.

A Ukrainian service member stands next to a damaged Russian T-72 BV tank, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues.

A Ukrainian service member stands next to a damaged Russian T-72 BV tank, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues.
(REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko/File photo)

A senior US defense official told reporters in September that the Pentagon recognizes that, in the long term, Ukraine “will need to transition to NATO-compatible models.”

“Tanks are absolutely on the table along with other areas,” the defense official said on September 19.

“In terms of the immediate fight, the tanks available that could be provided very quickly with little or no training are Soviet-type tanks, but we’re certainly open to other options as long as training, maintenance and sustainment can be taken care of.”

A destroyed Russian T-72 tank is seen near a front line, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the Mykolaiv region, Ukraine, on October 26, 2022.

A destroyed Russian T-72 tank is seen near a front line, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the Mykolaiv region, Ukraine, on October 26, 2022.
(REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File photo)

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The latest $400 million weapons package also includes funding to refurbish HAWK air defense missiles, 1,100 Phoenix Ghost tactical unmanned aerial systems and 40 armored riverboats.

It adds to more than $18 billion in security assistance that the Biden administration has transferred to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February.

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