Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recently made an erroneous statement via social media that the UK would be the first country to supply tanks to Ukraine.
On April 6, 2022, The independent reported that the Czech Republic became the first NATO member to meet kyiv’s demand for tanks.
Online footage from Czech television showed a train carrying five T-72 tanks and five BVP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine. This dispatch was authenticated by Ondrej Benesik, member of the European Affairs Committee of the Czech lower house.
On the other hand, the UK’s decision to send Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine was later documented by British media on January 14, 2023. Following a dialogue between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and President Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Downing Street declared his intention to send the “game-changing tanks.”
The decision was presented as an effort “seize the opportunity to accelerate global military and diplomatic support for Ukraine.”
We were the first country to send tanks to kyiv, now more than ten other countries have followed.
We were the first country to agree to train Ukrainian pilots. Today, more than a dozen other countries do it as well.
-Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) October 4, 2023
For those unfamiliar, Community Notes allows Twitter to add context to misleading posts. It is an open source and transparent initiative aimed at creating a more informed digital community.
Twitter’s Community Notes team has drawn attention to the inaccuracy of Prime Minister Sunak’s statement that the UK would be the pioneer in sending tanks. Instead, they emphasized that the Czech Republic had taken the lead in this regard.
The United Kingdom was the first country to promise Western main battle tanks.
However, the distinction of being the first to supply tanks in the midst of the conflict goes to the Czech Republic, as it took this step in April 2022. It remains imperative to authenticate the claims of those responsible to have an understanding without ambiguity of world events.