Ukraine news – live: Abrams tanks pose ‘no offensive threat’ to Russia, insists Biden

The US will send 31 M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine and Germany will send its own Leopard 2s – after weeks of persistent calls from Kyiv for the weaponry to help it fight off Russia’s invasion.

President Joe Biden said that the battle tanks pose “no offensive threat”, as Russia denounced the decisions as an “extremely dangerous” step, while Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the move.

Urging allied to provide large quantities of tanks quickly, he said: “The key now is speed and volumes. Speed in training our forces, speed in supplying tanks to Ukraine. The numbers in tank support.”

Ukraine has been seeking hundreds of modern tanks to reclaim occupied territory in the south and east with the two warring countries have been relying primarily on Soviet-era T-72 tanks.

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said any Abrams shipments would be a waste of money as they “burn” like other tanks.

“It overestimates the potential it will add to the Ukrainian army. These tanks burn just like all the others,” Mr Peskov told reporters

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