Poland has sent at least 240 Soviet-style tanks to Ukraine, Polish officials said, a donation that is enough to form two new tank brigades as Ukraine races to rebuff Russia’s advance in the east of the country.
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The T-72 tanks were donated in recent weeks alongside self-propelled howitzers, Grad rocket launchers and other Soviet-designed weaponry from the stocks of Poland, which has become Ukraine’s key benefactor within the European Union. While bigger EU countries such as France and Germany were debating the escalatory risks of offering Ukraine much smaller amounts of weaponry, Poland was quietly giving away roughly half its T-72 tanks.
Collectively, the considerable provision of heavy equipment, described by four Polish officials briefed on the issue, shows the accelerating pace at which NATO allies, including the U.S., are helping arm Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine are both losing large quantities of vehicles in combat. To help replace its losses, Kyiv is turning to NATO countries, especially along the eastern flank of the military alliance, that view the war as existential for their own independence.
An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.
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