Russia warns of “burning” Western tanks in Ukraine

Russia has repeatedly warned that any Western weapons entering Ukraine will become “legitimate” targets for Moscow’s attacks, including tanks that those countries intend to transfer to Ukraine.

“They are using Ukraine as a tool to achieve their goals against Russia. Those tanks will be burned like any other weapon,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in response to a question about tanks. He pledged to transfer to Kiev.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office said over the weekend that the country will deliver 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks along with artillery systems to Ukraine. The announcement states that 14 Challenger 2 tanks and about 30 AS90 self-propelled guns will be delivered in the next few weeks. The UK will also help train Ukrainian soldiers to operate this equipment. This move will make Britain the first Western power to supply main battle tanks to Kiev.

Before that, when the US committed to providing 50 Bradley anti-tank armored vehicles in the military aid package ever to Kiev. Germany also announced it would deliver about 40 Marder armored personnel carriers, and a Patriot air defense system and France promised to deliver AMX-10 RC wheeled armored vehicles. Poland is considering sending Leopard tanks to neighboring Ukraine.

The West has continuously provided military aid to Ukraine since the conflict here broke out at the end of February 2022. Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the matter, said that to date, the US and its allies have provided more than 4,000 armored vehicles, artillery complexes, aircraft, and other weapons. Specifically, Kiev has received about 300 infantry fighting vehicles, at least 1,100 armored vehicles, 210 M777 artillery complexes, more than 400 self-propelled guns, and more than 400 other military vehicles. The West is tending to aid in weapons with higher lethality.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that all foreign weapons supplied to Ukraine can become a legitimate target of attack or destruction by the Russian military. At a press conference today, Peskov also said that new Western military aid packages will not be able to change the situation of the war in Ukraine. 

“The UK, Poland, and other European countries are considering a new, more advanced supply of military equipment to Ukraine, but it will not change the battlefield. They should be aware of this. The special military operation will continue and achieve all its goals,” Peskov said.

Ukraine constantly calls on allies and partners for more weapons to deal with Russian raids. Kiev on January 15 accused Russia of a missile attack on an apartment building in Dnipro, a city in the south-central region of Ukraine, killing at least 40 people. However, Moscow has denied the allegation. Peskov said that the Russian military only targets military targets.

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