US to Send M1 Abrams Tanks to Ukraine - DMT NEWS

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US to Send M1 Abrams Tanks to Ukraine

The Biden administration has announced it is sending tanks to the Ukrainian military, a game-changing move to help the embattled nation prepare for an expected Russian offensive.

President Joe Biden said the Pentagon was coordinating the transfer of 31 M1 Abrams tanks, which will comprise an entire Ukrainian tank battalion, and are expected to arrive in Ukraine within the coming months.

“To liberate their land they need to be able to counter Russia’s evolving tactics and strategy on the battlefield in the very near term,” Biden said at the White House today. “(The tanks) will enhance Ukraine’s capacity to defend its territory.

“Abrams tanks are the most capable in the world.”

The U.S. battle tanks add to the over $27 billion in security assistance from the Pentagon to Ukraine since 2014 when Russian aggression first began. Many experts believe the Kremlin is planning a massive spring ground-offensive operation against Kyiv in another attempt to take swaths of the country. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelesnkyy has demanded new weapons to counter those plans and to retake Russian-held territory, including the Crimean peninsula.

The Biden administration had previously balked at sending a package with M1 Abrams tanks, seeing it as an escalation in arms transfers that might incur a rebuke from the Kremlin. But in recent weeks NATO allies, particularly Poland, have called for the delivery of tanks to the Ukrainian front lines as Russia mobilizes its forces.

Allies had persistently asked Germany, which produces the Leopard 2 tank, to provide their stock to Ukraine. Chancellor Olaf Scholz denied that request until today, confirming his nation would send fourteen of those variants, in what many believe was a backroom deal with the U.S. in exchange for the Pentagon promising the Abrams tanks.

First built to counter a hypothetical Soviet tank battalion during the Cold War, the M1 Abrams saw combat in the War On Terror years as well as during Operation Desert Storm in Iraq in 1991. Under the command of Ukraine, the tanks will surely see action against the  Russian forces they were designed to fight.

One unnamed U.S. official speaking to reporters Wednesday said that training Ukrainian soldiers on the tanks will “not occur in Ukraine; it will be outside Ukraine.” Ukrainian soldiers are currently training at Fort Sill in Oklahoma on Patriot missile systems being transferred to Kyiv as part of a previous Pentagon weapons package.

With files from Greg Walters.



via https://www.DMT.NEWS

Ben Makuch, Khareem Sudlow