By Anthony Marcus, for Eurasia Business News, January 25, 2023
U.S. President Joe Biden said during a special speech to the press that the United States will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks and 8 M88 armored recovery vehicles to the Ukrainian armed forces to service these tanks.
“ Today’s decision to send 31 Abrams M1 tanks to Ukraine is a continuation of our efforts to give Ukraine the capabilities it needs to continue to better defend itself. It also demonstrates the strong unity and determination of the international community to support Ukraine ,” a senior Washington administration official said at a special briefing, according to Reuters. According to him, 31 M1 Abrams tanks are the equivalent of one Ukrainian tank battalion.
This move speaks of the unity of the Western community in support of Ukrainian government. Earlier today, the German government announced the shipment of 14 German Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The Ukrainian Armed Forces will receive them in 3-4 months.
Joe Biden said the Abrams are “the most combat-ready tanks in the world,” but they are also difficult to maintain. In this regard, Washington will transfer the necessary equipment to Kyiv and begin training the Ukrainian military “as soon as possible.” The American leader acknowledged that getting the tanks to the battlefield in Ukraine would take time.
In addition, the U.S. president assured that the transfer of US military assistance to Ukraine “does not pose a threat to the territory of Russia.”
According to Joe Biden, Western leaders want the fighting in Ukraine to end. “We all want the end of the fighting, but this must happen on fair terms for Kyiv,” he added.
The M1 Abrams is the main battle tank of the US military and has been in service since 1980. The United States has more than 2.6 thousand units of various modifications of the M1 Abrams, more than 3,450 vehicles are in storage.
Earlier in Washington top officials refused to support the transfer of Abrams tanks to Ukraine due to problems with logistics and their maintenance. According to The Wall Street Journal , the U.S. sent Abrams tanks to Ukraine in order for Germany to approve the transfer of Leopard tanks.
Earlier today, the German government announced the shipment of 14 German Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The information was published on January 24 by the German newspaper Spiegel. At the same time, the German authorities will give the allies permission to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Poland and Norway also announced their readiness to transfer their German tanks Leopard 2 to Kiev. Norwegian Minister of Defense Bjorn Arild Gram did not specify the number and modification of tanks that the country could supply, but noted that the kingdom has Leopard 2A4 models. In total, according to the German government, Ukraine would get 112 tanks from Germany and its allies. Earlier, the UK promised to transfer the Challenger 2 to Ukraine, and France, to send AMX-10 RC.
The Russian authorities say that the supply of such equipment to Ukraine will not fundamentally change the course of hostilities, but it can “prolong the situation” in the zone of military operations.
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