South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham on Thursday called on President Biden to send tanks to Ukraine, as requested by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The Republican lawmaker urged Biden to act following an announcement that France would send the first western tanks to Ukraine to aid the fight against Russia’s invasion. France will supply AMX-10 RC light tanks to Ukraine, an aide to French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters Thursday, according to French news agency AFP.
‘I appreciate France agreeing to provide light armored combat vehicles to Ukraine – but this is not enough,’ Graham tweeted. ‘The goal for 2023 is to give the Ukrainians the weapons they need to militarily defeat the Russian invaders. This requires heavy modern tanks.
‘I am urging the Biden Administration to meet President Zelensky’s request for modern western tanks. The goal is quite simple: Defeat the Russians in Ukraine sooner rather than later,’ Graham said. ‘Tanks would change the tide of battle.’
Earlier this week, Zelenskyy renewed his calls for Western tanks to help his troops in areas like Donetsk where brutal ground warfare continues.
Fighting continues in other areas as well including Luhansk, where according to its regional governor, Ukrainian troops are making slow, incremental ‘step-by-step’ gains, though he warned these advances were ‘not happening fast,’ first reported by Reuters.
President Biden on Wednesday said the U.S. is considering sending Bradley Fighting Vehicles to Ukraine – an armored vehicle that, while not technically a tank, is propelled on tracks and equipped with a free turning turret. It has less firepower than a modern tank and shorter firing range.
The Bradley vehicles are capable of transporting more infantrymen, arms and communications than tanks and can quickly and effectively maneuver on the battlefield. But it is unclear if Zelenskyy would view the lighter vehicles as sufficient for Ukraine’s needs.
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.