Poland has sent at least 240 Soviet style T–72 tanks and dozens of Infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine.
While other European countries sitting on chairs, enjoying the war and busy buying oil and gas from Russia Poland take initiative and send more than 240 T-72M series tanks. Dozens of infantry fighting vehicles, 2S1 Goździk self-propelled howitzers, and Grad rocket launchers. Poland also provided air-to-air missiles for MIG-29 and Su-27 aircraft.
In addition to heavy equipment, there are also drones produced by the Polish WB Electronics for, among others, for reconnaissance activities. The Ukrainians themselves boast of having Polish Warmate drones – a circulating ammunition system similar to the American Switchblade. From the Polish arsenal to the fighters with Russia also went, among others Piorun portable anti-aircraft missile systems, which have already shot down Russian helicopters officially unconfirmed. Poland also provides Ukraine with large amounts of ammunition.
The post-Soviet T-72 tanks have already found their way to Ukraine from the Czech Republic. Poland has almost 400 pieces of this equipment. According to the decision of the Ministry of Defense in 2019, some were modified, mainly in terms of the fire capabilities of these tanks. However, the findings of the IAR show that the Ukrainian army is handed over mainly machines from outside the modernization program.
The topic of handing over the tanks was discussed at a closed session of the Parliamentary defense committee. When asked about this, the deputy head of the Ministry of National Defense, Wojciech Skurkiewicz, who represented the ministry on the commission, said that Poland had supported its neighbor militarily since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.
Poland isn’t the only country to donate tanks, but it has given Ukraine far more than any other Western ally has reported doing. The Czech Republic has sent Ukraine several dozen T-72 tanks. This week, after an extended public debate, Germany decided to refurbish about 50 Flakpanzer Gepard antiaircraft cannon tanks, for onward delivery to Ukraine. The Biden administration has asked Congress to approve a $33 billion package of military and economic aid for Ukraine.
Aside from tanks, Poland has also given Ukraine locally manufactured surveillance drones and dozens of infantry fighting vehicles. It has also sent oil overland into Ukraine to keep the country’s military vehicles fueled.
“Ukraine got from Poland more than it asked for,” one senior Polish official said.
The U.S. is selling 250 Abrams tanks to Poland to help replace those Poland donated. The U.K. has also offered to send its own tanks to Poland to stave off any concerns that the country, which borders the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, now lacks enough for its own defense.
Poland’s donation more than replaces all of the tanks Ukraine is known to have lost in the course of the two-month-long war. So far, 60 Ukrainian tanks have been destroyed, another eight abandoned, one damaged and 73 captured, according to Oryx, an open-source intelligence blog that only counts visual evidence of equipment loss.
By comparison, 305 Russian tanks have been destroyed, with 15 damaged, 49 abandoned and 217 captured.
Russia’s campaign of missile strikes across Ukraine has targeted in particular the country’s defense industry, making it difficult for Ukraine to repair the tanks that have been damaged or captured. But both the Czech Republic and neighboring Slovakia, which shares a border with Ukraine, are considering opening their military-industrial installations to repair and refit such equipment.
The provision of tanks shows how NATO’s allies are now effectively producing and giving Ukraine the volumes and types of weaponry and vehicles needed to wage a large-scale conventional conflict. Western governments initially expected Kyiv to fall within a few days and the equipment they provided the Ukrainian military consisted mostly of shoulder-fired missiles such as NLAW, Javelin and Stinger that could be used by small units, moving on foot.