Kremlin Spokesman Promises British Challenger 2 Tanks Will “Burn” In Ukraine – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned on Monday that British tanks sent to Ukraine will ultimately fail, will “burn” at the hands of Russian soldiers, and that supplying new rounds of advanced weapons to Ukraine will not stop Russia from winning the war.
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The comments come after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed the delivery of Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine.
What Sunak Said about Ukraine
Speaking over the phone to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday, the British prime minister confirmed that he would send additional artillery systems and a number of Challenger 2 tanks to support Ukraine’s resistance.
10 Downing Street said that the two leaders discussed recent victories by Ukrainian soldiers in Ukraine, as well as the importance of seizing this moment “with an acceleration of global military and diplomatic support.”
Sunak also told Zelenskyy that the Challengers, which are the British Army’s top main battle tank, would assist in pushing Russian troops back.
Sunak’s commitment to continuing support to Ukraine in the form of delivering weapons and tanks was echoed by Tobias Ellwood, the Chair of the Defence Select Committee, who told the BBC that he welcomed the decision as an example of the UK “getting serious” about the hardware being sent to Ukraine.
Ellwood also criticized other international partners for being “far too slow” to provide advanced weapons and equipment to Ukraine.
“That’s exactly what Russia wants us to do – to remain hesitant,” Ellwood said. “Unless we step forward and support Ukraine, Russia will not go away – and that will mean the bully has won.”
What Is the Challenger 2?
The Challenger 2 tank uses non-NATO standard ammunition, weighs significantly more than Russian equivalent tanks at 64 tons, and features Chobham/Dorchester armor designed to protect against direct hits from modern ammunition.
The tanks carry four soldiers, which is one more than Ukraine’s main battle tanks. Challenger 2 tanks will arrive in Ukraine alongside 14 German-made Leopard tanks promised by Poland.
What Peskov Said
In response to the announcement, Dmitry Peskov warned that the arrival of British tanks in the next few weeks would effectively be insignificant, and blamed the decision on anti-Russian attitudes from the West.
“They are using this country as a tool to achieve their anti-Russian goals,” Peskov said. “These tanks are burning and will burn just like the rest.”
Peskov also said that, while the tanks arriving from Europe would not help Ukraine win, they would make the conflict last longer and attract “more troubles” for Ukraine.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.