War in Ukraine: London will send heavy tanks to kyiv, a first for a Western country

The news was immediately welcomed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

British Challenger 2 tanks during a military exercise under NATO command, in Poland, October 16, 2015. (PAP)

The United Kingdom will supply Ukraine with Challenger 2 tanks, becoming the first Western country to send heavy tanks to help kyiv against the Russian invasion, Downing Street announced in a statement on Saturday January 14.

During an interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stressed “the UK’s willingness to step up its support to Ukraine, including by providing Challenger 2 tanks and artillery systems extra,” Downing Street said. London “will work actively with its allies to quickly provide an appropriate response to enable Ukraine to build on its advantage, win the war and secure a lasting peace,” the statement added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky immediately reacted to Downing Street’s announcement, saying the UK was “sending the right signal” by providing the tanks.