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17 Jan, 2023 13:20

Pledged UK tanks won’t make ‘significant difference' to Ukraine – MP

Kiev needs an additional 300 tanks and over 500 infantry vehicles to overcome Russia’s forces, MP Bob Seely said
Pledged UK tanks won’t make ‘significant difference' to Ukraine – MP

The number of tanks the UK is set to send to Ukraine is not enough to defeat Russia, British Conservative MP Bob Seely said on Tuesday, calling for significantly more heavy equipment to be supplied to Kiev’s forces.

His comments came after the British ministry of defense announced on Monday that it will send a “squadron” of Challenger 2 tanks intended to “accelerate Ukrainian success” in its ongoing military conflict with Russia. 

In a tweet, Seely said he believes the 14 tanks are far from enough and that Kiev needs hundreds more to win on the battlefield.

In an interview with GB News, the lawmaker said the tank squadron would be a “considerable addition” to Kiev’s forces but that it was not going to make a “significant military difference.”

"They need a minimum of 200, 300 main battle tanks...and probably five to six hundred infantry fighting vehicles on top of the huge amounts of supplies, and the West has already been generous," he added.

As for why his country has been hesitant to send military equipment such as tanks to Ukraine up until this point, the MP said Western nations were cautious about escalating tensions with Russia by sending “major pieces of kit like airpower, like tanks.” 

Now, however, according to Seely that dynamic has changed and the UK is trying to “provide political leadership and political cover, so that other countries will send their tanks as well.”

Russia, meanwhile, has responded to the UK’s announced shipment of Challenger 2 tanks by stating they will “burn like the rest” of Western-supplied armor in Ukraine. 

Moscow has repeatedly warned the US and its allies against sending more weapons to Kiev, arguing that it would only prolong the conflict, lead to more unnecessary deaths and risk an open confrontation between Russia and the West.