UK to send Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine to 'push Russian troops back'

14 January 2023, 15:08

The UK is sending tanks over to Ukraine, Mr Sunak announced.
The UK is sending tanks over to Ukraine, Mr Sunak announced. Picture: Alamy/Social media

By Emma Soteriou

The UK will provide tanks to Ukraine to help Kyiv's forces "push Russian troops back", Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Mr Sunak made the pledge during a call on Saturday morning with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Downing Street said.

In a readout of the phone conversation, a No10 spokeswoman said the Prime Minister offered Challenger 2 tanks and additional artillery systems as a sign of the UK's "ambition to intensify our support to Ukraine".

She added:"The prime minister stressed that he and the whole UK government would be working intensively with international partners to deliver rapidly the kind of support which will allow Ukraine to press their advantage, win this war and secure a lasting peace."

Initially, around a dozen tanks will be sent to Ukraine - enough for a squadron - it is understood.

It marks the first time a country has pledged Western tanks to Ukraine.

Read more: Sunak must 'think twice' about helping Ukraine, senior Russian diplomat warns as he says no update on Brit aid workers

Read more: Russia-linked hackers 'behind Royal Mail attack'

Ukraine is getting less than 5 per cent of weapons they asked for

Following the announcement, Mr Zelenskyy tweeted: "Always strong support of the UK is now impenetrable and ready for challenges.

"In a conversation with the Prime Minister, I thanked for the decisions that will not only strengthen us on the battlefield, but also send the right signal to other partners."

The shadow defence secretary said Labour backed Mr Sunak's decision to provide Ukraine with tanks.

John Healey said: "Modern tanks are crucial to Ukraine's efforts to win its battle against Russian aggression.

"The Government has Labour's fullest backing for military assistance to Ukraine.

"But ministers must move beyond ad hoc announcements and set out a plan for military, economic and diplomatic support through 2023 and beyond.

"As the first anniversary of Russia's invasion approaches, this will help reassure Ukrainians that Britain will stand with them for as long as it takes and signal to Putin that things will get worse not better for Russia."

Ukrainian MP says it is 'critical' for France, Germany, the US, and the UK to send tanks to Ukraine

It comes after Western officials warned Ukraine would not be able to take back significant territory from Russia without an increase in fighting power.

The US has already promised 50 Bradley tank-killing armoured vehicles in its biggest military assistance package to date for Ukraine.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Ligh-Anne Pinnock's niece, 13, is missing

Urgent search launched for Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock’s missing 13-year-old niece

Abdul Ezedi died by suicide, a coroner has ruled

Clapham chemical attacker Abdul Ezedi drowned himself hours after assaulting partner and two girls, inquest finds

Exclusive
Suella Braverman has said she would vote for Donald Trump if she was a US citizen, claiming "the world will be safer" if the Republican presidential hopeful wins the November election.

Sullea Braverman reveals she would vote for Trump if she were American because 'the world would be safer'

Exclusive
Suella Braverman.

Suella Braverman slams Labour scrapping the Rwanda plan claiming it signals the UK is 'open' to illegal migration

Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary has been found guilty of directing a terrorist organisation

Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary found guilty of directing terrorist organisation Al-Muhajiroun

Zara McDermott opened up about the "extremely distressing" events that occurred behind the scenes at Strictly Come Dancing.

'The line should never be crossed': BBC boss apologises for Strictly Come Dancing abuse controversy

Italy Walkway Collapse

Walkway collapses in Italy housing project, killing two and injuring a dozen

Up to five professionals could face the axe on next year’s Strictly Come Dancing

Long-serving strictly stars could face cull following scandals around alleged abusive behaviour

A man has been left fighting for life after being attacked at Seven Sisters

Man fights for life after stabbing at London Underground station - as two women arrested

The girl's mum, dad, and two little sisters died in the crash along with a motorbike rider and pillion passenger

Orphaned girl, 11, to live with aunt after losing whole family in horror car crash - as fundraiser passes £260,000

Tributes have been paid to Harry Savage after the reality TV star was found dead

Tributes pour in for Harry Savage after reality TV star found dead in home

Three men in suits

Hamas and Fatah sign deal to end years-long rift after talks in China

Crowd of people on a hillside

Death toll in Ethiopia mudslides rises to 157 as search operations continue

The bodycam footage of a black woman getting shot by a white police officer has been released

Shocking bodycam footage shows police shooting black woman dead in her home after she rang 911

Tributes have been paid to Clodagh Phelan who died after falling from a hotel balcony in Majorca

Tributes paid to Irish girl Clodagh Phelan, 11, who died in fall from Majorca hotel balcony

Ex-home sec James Cleverley has branded Yvette Cooper's £700m figure as "nonsense"

'It's nonsense': Former Home Secretary James Cleverly accuses Yvette Cooper of 'making up' £700m Rwanda figure