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Zelensky confirms first Abrams tanks already in Ukraine

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 25, 2023 3:18 PM 1 min read
A M1A1 Abrams main battle tank fires during Exercise Chong Ju at the Puckapunyal Military Area on May 09, 2019 in Seymour, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed on Sept. 25 that the first U.S.-made Abrams tanks have arrived in Ukraine, thanking Washington for fulfilling the agreement.

Zelensky didn't mention how many vehicles of the 31 tanks promised by Washington were delivered in the first batch.

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Sept. 21 during a bilateral meeting with Zelensky that the initial tranche of U.S. Abrams tanks would arrive in Ukraine the following week.

What will it take for Ukraine to maintain and operate the M1 Abrams?
The Ukrainian military has passed another milestone by starting to master the M1 Abrams, the top-notch main battle tank to be provided by the U.S. According to the Pentagon, some 400 Ukrainians are training for the job at U.S. Army bases in Germany. After many months of deliberations

The shipment is part of a larger package that includes ammunition, anti-tank weapons, and artillery.

Biden announced the decision to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks, a force equivalent to one Ukrainian battalion, to Ukraine in January, just as other Western partners pledged their own advanced armor, such as Leopard 2 or Challenger 2 tanks.

The tanks, which offer greater mobility and firepower than Soviet battle tanks, are expected to support Ukraine's defensive and offensive efforts. The shipments may add momentum to the counteroffensive, which has begun to break through Russian lines of defense.

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