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NYT: First Abrams tanks already in Ukraine, US officials say

The US has already delivered the first of its Abrams tanks to Ukraine late last week, NYT sources say.
An M1 Abrams tank. Photo by Spc. Kevin Brown/DVIDS
NYT: First Abrams tanks already in Ukraine, US officials say

The first American-made M1 Abrams tanks have been delivered to Ukraine, two US defense officials told The New York Times, arriving months ahead of initial estimates and in time to be used in the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russian forces.

According to the NYT sources, more Abrams tanks will be sent in the coming months, while those shipped into Ukraine on 23 September are the first of 31 that the Biden administration has promised to send. The sources reportedly did not mention the exact number of the Abrams already supplied to Ukraine.

The Ukrainian forces may use the Abrams tanks in their attempts to break through the multi-layered Russian defense line in southern Ukraine, where fighting has ground on for months without large-scale breakthroughs.

“The two US officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deliveries had not been formally announced. Ukrainian officials declined to comment,” NYT wrote.

 

US President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said last week that the Abrams tanks would be shipped within days.

American troops began training Ukrainian forces to operate Abrams tanks at US bases in Germany in late spring.

The announcement of the US decision to supply Ukraine with Abrams tanks paved the way for European nations to receive German permission for the transfer of several dozen German-made Leopard tanks as Germany had been reluctant to authorize this transfer without a comparable commitment from the US. 

The first country to announce the supplies of Western-made tanks to Ukraine was Britain, which promised to donate its Challenger tanks about two weeks before the US pledged to transfer the Abrams tanks.

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