The first British-supplied Challenger 2 main battle tanks arrived in Ukraine, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Tuesday morning.
"These fantastic machines will soon begin their combat missions," said Reznikov, who thanked UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and the British people for their donation.
The UK has pledged 14 of the MBTs to aid in Ukraine's efforts to repel the ongoing Russian invasion. Allied nations have also promised Ukraine squadrons of tanks. 18 German-made Leopard 2 tanks arrived from Germany on Monday, and three were received from Portugal, Reuters reported.
Ukrainian tank crews have been training on the platforms with the UK military in recent weeks.
The purpose of a tank is to predominantly fight other tanks," said British Army Chief of General Staff General Sir Patrick Sanders, in a documentary on the training process published on Monday. "Ukrainians, when they return to their country, will be using this tank behind me to kill other Russian tanks. And it's very effective at what it does.
What are tanks used for in Ukraine?
The most intense battles on the Donetsk front have involved Russian tanks, with Kremlin forces making marginal gains in recent days in the town of Avdiivka at the cost of heavy armor losses, the UK Defense Ministry assessed in a Tuesday morning briefing.
"Russia’s 10th Tank Regiment has likely lost a large proportion of its tanks while attempting to surround Avdiivka from the south," said the UK Defense Ministry. "The regiment is part of 3rd Army Corps, the first major new formation Russia stood up to support the invasion of Ukraine since August 2022."
The UK Defense Ministry also noted reports that indicated that poor morale and discipline continue to plague such units, and the formations appear to display limited combat effectiveness.
"10th Tank Regiment’s losses have likely largely been due to tactically flawed frontal assaults similar to those in other recent failed Russian armored attacks, such as around the town of Vuhledar," said the UK ministry.