Sunday, May 26, 2024
HomeWorldEuropeUS Abrams tanks to arrive in Ukraine ‘soon'

US Abrams tanks to arrive in Ukraine ‘soon’

As Kyiv forces make “steady” progress in a counter-offensive against Russian forces, Ukraine will “soon” receive M1 Abrams tanks from the United States to do so, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Tuesday.

Washington had promised the tanks to Kyiv at the beginning of the year, part of more than $43 billion in security assistance pledged by the United States since war in Ukraine began in February 2022. Austin said at the opening of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group in Germany:

“I’m… pleased to announce that the M1 Abrams tanks that the United States had previously committed to will be entering Ukraine soon.”

The tanks will be paired with 120mm armor-piercing depleted uranium rounds that were announced earlier this month. The use of such munitions is controversial, in that in areas where they have been used in past conflicts, their use has been linked to health problems such as cancer and birth defects, although they have not been definitively proven to cause such issues.

Ukraine launched a counter-offensive in June but did not achieve the expected success, running into strong defences. Austin said the counter-offensive “continues to make steady forward progress. He added:

“And brave Ukrainian troops are breaking through the heavily fortified lines of Russia’s army of aggression.”

The US Defence Secretary also welcomed Ukraine’s new Defence Minister Rustem Umerov. Rustem was appointed earlier this month as a result of significant changes in Kyiv following corruption scandals at the ministry. A senior US defence official said ahead of the meeting that it was an opportunity “to hear from minister Umerov himself what his vision is, what his priority is.” He added:

“Democracies like Ukraine have… turnover in leadership all the time. We do expect continuity (from Kyiv).”

Ukraine’s supporters are also training Kyiv’s troops, while the U.S. and other countries have imposed tough sanctions against Russia. The sanctions mainly affect the financial industry, technology imports and fuel exports.

RELATED ARTICLES

Most Popular