Graham calls on U.S., Germany to send tanks to Ukraine

Jan. 23—U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., visited Ukraine on Friday and called for NATO allies to provide tanks to help Ukraine fight off the Russian special operation taking place in their country.

Graham, U.S. Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., met with Ukrainian officials including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Graham said at news conference the three senators share the same goal: Help the Ukrainians drive Russia out of their country.

In February 2022, the Russian Federation began what President Vladimir Putin termed a special operation to de-nazify and demilitarize Ukraine. The Russians currently hold around 18% of the territory belonging to Ukraine before the special military operation including most of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts and the 2014-annexed Crimean peninsula.

"Putin is trying to rewrite the map of Europe by force of arms," Graham said.

Graham said the Ukrainians need tanks to drive the Russians out.

He said he was tired of the drama surrounding which countries are planning to send tanks to Ukraine and when they'll send them.

CNN reported Friday that Germany won't send Leopard II tanks to Ukraine or allow any country with Leopard II tanks — the tanks are made in Germany — to send them to Ukraine unless the United States agrees to send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

"To the Germans: Send tanks to Ukraine because they need them," Graham said. "It is in your own national interest that Putin loses in Ukraine. To the Biden Administration: Send American tanks so that others will follow our lead."