In a U-turn, President Joe Biden announced that the US will send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine (Photos: AP/Getty Images)

The US will send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine – a major blow to Russia’s attempts to dominate its sovereign neighbor.

President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that he would send the tanks, contradicting the previous US position that they were not suitable for Ukrainians.

“These tanks are further evidence of our continued, unwavering commitment to Ukraine and our confidence in the capabilities of the Ukrainian armed forces,” Biden said after a morning meeting with European allies.

Russian President Vladimir “Putin expected Europe and the United States to weaken our resolve,” Biden said. “He was wrong. He was wrong. He was wrong in the beginning and he continues to be wrong. We are united.”

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They are comparable to a Ukrainian battalion and “the most capable tanks in the world,” Biden said. The president said Germany will send its Leopard 2 tanks and other allies will also contribute, creating two more battalions.

Biden said the tank building was not intended to extend the war to Russia.

The tanks will “enhance Ukraine’s ability to better defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives,” Biden said.

“That’s what it’s about: helping Ukraine, defending and protecting Ukrainian land. It’s not an offensive threat to Russia, there’s no offensive threat to Russia.”

The US is sending 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine and providing training and supplies for their operation (Photo: AFP)

In addition to the 21 Abrams tanks supplied by the US, Germany will send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine

In addition to the 21 Abrams tanks supplied by the US, Germany is sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine (Photo: Getty Images)

The US had avoided sending Abrams tanks given the complex maintenance and logistical challenges with such high-tech machines. Last week, Deputy Defense Secretary Colin Kahl said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin believes the US “shouldn’t give Ukrainians systems they can’t fix, they can’t maintain and they couldn’t afford.” for the long term because it… doesn’t help’.

The US will train and supply Ukrainians to operate and command the tanks, Biden said Thursday.

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and has been at war for 11 months.