Tuesday, 17 May, 2022
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Czech Republic transfers tanks, infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine

The Czech Republic has transferred T-72 main battle tanks (MBT) and BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) to Ukraine a Czech defence source confirmed to Reuters on Tuesday.

Public broadcaster Czech Television initially reported the shipment, showing footage on Twitter of a train loaded with five tanks and five fighting vehicles. It said the shipment was a gift agreed with NATO allies. The broadcaster said the information was confirmed by the head of the Czech lower house’s European Affairs Committee Ondrej Benesik, who told Reuters he received the information from his Christian Democrat Party’s expert on defence. The source, from the Czech defence community, also confirmed that the tanks and fighting vehicles had been sent but declined to give any further details, citing security concerns.

The German Ministry of Defense approved the transfer of 58 East German-built BMP-1 IFVs which are currently held by a private company in the Czech Republic.

On 3 April the US announced that it would help facilitate the transfer of Soviet-made T-72 MBTs to Ukraine as the country gears up for heavy armour battles in the east with Russian forces.

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