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The Editors

Western Tanks Give Ukraine a Fighting Chance

The agreement between the US and Germany is a critical step toward helping Ukraine regain lost ground.

Olaf Scholz is setting the Leopards free.

Olaf Scholz is setting the Leopards free.

Photographer: David Hecker/Getty Images Europe

After weeks of diplomatic hand-wringing, the US and Germany have decided to send battle tanks to Ukraine, a critical step toward helping the country take back territory seized by Russian forces during last year’s invasion. While President Joe Biden and Europe’s leaders deserve credit for maintaining solidarity with Ukraine, they should remain mindful of the risks of deeper Western involvement in the war.

Under the arrangement announced Wednesday, the US will send Ukraine 31 M1 Abrams tanks, at a cost of $400 million. Meanwhile, Germany will supply 14 Leopard 2 tanks from its stockpile and will allow other allies, including Poland, Spain and Finland, to ship their own German-made Leopards to the front lines. In all, the package approved by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz aims to deliver more than 100 tanks to Ukraine’s forces, along with ammunition, training and maintenance support.