Trump suggests providing tanks to Ukraine will lead to 'nukes' and says ending the war with Russia would be 'easy'

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Former President Donald Trump, whose , on Thursday appeared to criticize the US and Germany over their recent decisions to provide battle tanks to Kyiv at a time when Russia is expected to launch another major offensive. Trump suggested offering tanks to Ukraine would lead to the use of nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, Trump said it would be "easy" to end the war, without providing any suggestions on how this would be accomplished. 

"FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do," Trump, who is running for president again in 2024, said in a post on his social media platform Truth Social. 

Trump, who has routinely praised Putin, has consistently been a critic of US aid to Ukraine. The former president's first impeachment was tied to his effort to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy into launching an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, over unfounded allegations of corruption. At the time, Biden was a presidential candidate and Trump's top political rival.

As he pressured Zelenskyy to launch the inquiries, Trump simultaneously froze congressionally-approved military aid to Ukraine as it continued to fight a war against Kremlin-backed rebels in the country's eastern Donbas region. Much of the fighting in the war Putin launched in late February 2022 has occurred in the Donbas, which is comprised of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions — two out of four Ukrainian territories the Russian leader illegally annexed in September. 

Though Trump suggested it would be "easy" to end the war in Ukraine, that is not a view that is widely shared by experts or people with experience in diplomacy. Putin's decision to illegally annex four Ukrainian territories, declaring them as part of Russia, has made the possibility of talks to end the fighting extraordinarily unlikely. Russian forces do not fully occupy these regions, and Kyiv has been clear it would not agree to any peace terms requiring it to cede territory to Moscow. 

"The fact that the Russians have annexed four [Ukrainian] provinces makes an agreement nearly impossible," Gérard Araud, the former French ambassador to the US and the United Nations, told Insider this week.

Speaking on Putin's goal of dividing the West to weaken support for Ukraine, Araud also said that "the Russians have always dreamed of having Trump back because in military terms the support of the Americans is really overwhelming compared to the support of the Europeans."