Joe Biden and his German counterpart Olaf Scholz have agreed to send infantry fighting vehicles to help Ukraine fight Russia, a day after France said it would supply its own armoured vehicles to Kyiv in an attempt to create a breakthrough in the 10-month war.
The joint announcement followed a phone call between Biden and Scholz and amounts to a step change in western military support for Ukraine, which has asked for up to 700 armoured vehicles to help force the Russians out.
“The United States intends to supply Ukraine with Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, and Germany intends to provide Ukraine with Marder infantry fighting vehicles,” the White House said in a statement on Thursday.
Ukraine has repeatedly said it needs 600 to 700 infantry fighting vehicles plus 300 tanks from from the west in order to give its military a chance of breaking through the increasingly fortified Russian positions along the frontline.
Until now, however, the US and Germany have been wary of supplying Ukraine with Nato-standard armour, because they feared it would be interpreted by Russia as escalatory. But the decision to supply western armoured vehicles is significant, even if both countries stopped short of sending tanks. [Continue reading…]