The US and Germany have agreed to send infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine to aid in its struggle against Russia, a day after France announced it would provide armoured vehicles to Kyiv in an effort to end the 10-month conflict.
The joint announcement from US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, represents a significant increase in western military backing for Ukraine, which has requested up to 700 armored vehicles to assist in expelling the Russians.
“The United States will provide Ukraine with Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, and Germany will provide Ukraine with Marder infantry fighting vehicles,” the White House said in a statement on Thursday.
Ukraine has frequently stated that it requires 600 to 700 infantry fighting vehicles and 300 tanks from the west in order for its forces to have a chance of penetrating the increasingly hardened Russian frontline positions.
Until now, however, the United States and Germany have been hesitant to provide Ukraine with NATO-standard armor out of concern that it would be perceived as escalatory by Russia. However, the decision to supply western armoured vehicles is noteworthy, even if neither country sent tanks.
The White House stated that Germany will also provide Ukraine with a Patriot air defense system, in addition to the one promised by the United States last month. It was not immediately known how many Marders and Bradleys would be delivered by each country to the Ukrainian military, but both countries will provide training on the Marders and Bradleys.