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The U.S. targeted the Russia-backed Wagner Group in a new round of sanctions on Thursday, labeling the mercenary group a transnational criminal organization and accusing it of atrocities in Ukraine and around the world.

Russia hits Ukraine with missiles, saying promised tanks show that the U.S. and Europe's "direct involvement" in the war is "growing."

President Biden announced Wednesday that the U.S. will send 31 top-of-the-line M-1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, delivering on a key request from Kyiv that will provide a major boost to Ukrainian firepower over the coming months.

"You don't go after a crocodile with a cornstalk." NSC Spokesman John Kirby says the Abrams battle tanks that the U.S. is sending to Ukraine are going "to have an effect," adding, "armored vehicles are important."

The 31 M-1 Abrams battle tanks the U.S. is sending to Ukraine are intended "to help Ukraine defend its sovereignty and its territorial integrity," President Biden says. "That's what this is about," Biden says. "It is not an offensive threat to Russia."

President Biden announces the U.S. is sending 31 top-of-the-line M-1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, calling them the "most capable tanks in the world." "It will enhance Ukraine's capacity to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives."

BREAKING: The U.S. plans to send 31 of its top-of-the-line battle tanks, the M-1 Abrams, to Ukraine, officials say.

The U.S. is now poised to send its top-of-the-line battle tank, the M-1 Abrams, to Ukraine after insisting for months that the tanks were too complex to operate and maintain.

Germany will send Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine and approve re-export of the same kind of tanks from partner countries.

Poland will ask the German government for permission to supply German-made Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki said.

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