Abrams Tanks Should Get to Ukraine Soon

Abrams Tanks Should Get to Ukraine Soon

Abrams Tanks Should Get to Ukraine Soon. The U.S. defense secretary, Lloyd J. Austin III, announced on Tuesday that American-made Abrams battle tanks will shortly arrive in Ukraine, bringing a potent new weapon to the battlefield to aid Ukraine’s sluggish counteroffensive against Russia.

Speaking to 50 defense ministers and other top officials gathered in Ramstein, Germany, for the 15th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contract Group, Mr. Austin reaffirmed that the United States would train Ukraine’s pilots on F-16 warplanes and urged allies to move more quickly to provide air defense and produce ammunition that Kyiv’s forces desperately needed on the battlefield.

Ukraine’s essential requirements are air defense, ammunition, 155-millimeter artillery rounds, and mechanized armor, Mr. Austin said, and he asked the contact group to “dig deep.”

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He reiterated British estimates that Russian attacks on Ukraine’s ports and storage facilities have destroyed 280,000 tons of grain, enough to sustain 10,500,000 people for an entire year.

Since the Biden administration agreed in January to donate 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, Ukraine has eagerly anticipated their arrival, particularly as its forces began penetrating minefields and other obstacles.

Mr. Austin stated only that they would “enter Ukraine soon,” consistent with estimates from the Pentagon that they would arrive in the fall. Since the spring, American personnel have trained Ukrainian crews on the advanced tanks for 12-week stints. Still, as of Monday, the tanks had not yet been delivered, according to a senior U.S. military official.

The official indicated that most tanks would arrive in Ukraine within days. The remainder will be delivered in the coming weeks, according to the official, who spoke anonymously to discuss unannounced details.

They will be a welcome but minor addition to a ground conflict that has consumed at least 648 of Ukraine’s tanks, including at least 17 Western-made tanks, according to Oryx. This military analysis website counts only visually confirmed losses.

Several European nations have shipped scores of German-made Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine over the past six months, and Britain delivered at least 14 Challenger 2 tanks in the spring.

Ukraine had previously stated requiring at least 300 tanks from Western benefactors. Still, according to Colonel Markus Reisner, who closely monitors the conflict at Austria’s primary military training facility, it has only received about half of that number.

Comparatively, officials estimate that Russia manufactures approximately 200 tanks annually.

This week, Colonel Reisner stated, “This is the issue.” Either the West delivers, or the situation will be difficult.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, Mr. Austin stated that allies had sent Ukraine approximately $76 billion in weapons and other security assistance. He implored nations to continue providing aid to Ukraine after the counteroffensive concluded.

Increasing numbers of Republican officials in the United States have pledged to cut military aid to Ukraine if a Republican wins the presidential election next year.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, General Mark A. Milley, stated that the United States believes “about two hundred thousand Russian troops remain in Russian-occupied Ukraine.” However, he referred to “two or three hundred thousand Russian troops who are still there.”

He stated that most of these troops were mobilized last autumn and needed to be better trained and led. But they are present.

He concurred with Mr. Austin’s assessment that “Ukraine’s counteroffensive continues to make steady, forward progress” and that “brave Ukrainian troops are breaking through the heavily fortified lines of Russia’s army of aggression,” adding, “But Ukraine’s recent gains also depend on the critical capabilities provided by the members of this contact group, And our shared commitment will be essential during the ongoing conflicts and on the lengthy road ahead.”

It was the last meeting of its kind for retiring General Milley. At the final news conference, he spoke passionately about the significance of Ukraine to the free world and the Ukrainians’ willingness to fight until their entire territory is liberated.

He stated, “The Ukrainian people are going to fight.” “Russia has committed one of the gravest strategic errors in its history. They have invaded a free and independent country, and that country will not give up until they are free and independent once again.”

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