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US delivers first batch of Abrams tanks to Ukraine ahead of schedule

26.09.2023 13:00
A preliminary shipment of M1 Abrams tanks, pledged by the Biden administration to Ukraine, has been dispatched and received, significantly preceding initial projections, US and Ukrainian officials have confirmed.
The American army trains Ukrainians on Abrams tanks in Grafenwoehr, Germany.
The American army trains Ukrainians on Abrams tanks in Grafenwoehr, Germany. Photo: PAP/DPA/Matthias Merz

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated in a Telegram post that the first batch of American-made Abrams tanks had reached Ukrainian soil, highlighting their timely arrival to support Kyiv's ongoing counteractions against Russian attacks.

Two anonymous US defense officials clarified that the tanks delivered on Saturday were the first batch of a total of 31 tanks that have been promised by the Biden administration. Current deliveries are understood to comprise two platoons, typically equivalent to eight to ten tanks.

Expressing his gratitude, Zelensky wrote that the "Abrams are already in Ukraine and are preparing to reinforce our brigades".

The tanks join the arsenal Ukraine could deploy to counteract and potentially recover territories under Russian control in the eastern and southern regions of the country.

Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine's Chief of Military Intelligence, cautioned that the strategic utilization of the Abrams tanks is crucial. He emphasized that they should be employed "in a very tailored way, for very specific, well-crafted operations" to prevent potential loss.


Source: IAR, Reuters, The New York Times