Approximately 200 Ukrainian soldiers have recently completed training on American combat vehicles, as the first shipment of US-made M1 Abrams battle tanks is expected to arrive in Ukraine in the coming weeks. According to a Pentagon official who spoke to Politico, 10 out of the 31 tanks that were promised to Kiev are currently undergoing refurbishments in Germany. The official also stated that the first delivery is predicted to take place sometime in mid-September.
To prepare for the arrival of the tanks, Ukrainian troops have undergone training on the US tank and have also trained at multiple bases in Germany, where they will remain until the tanks are ready. The soldiers will continue their training at the US Army base in Grafenwoehr, Germany. US Army spokesman Col. Martin O’Donnell emphasized that the US is committed to expediting the delivery of the tanks to Ukraine by the fall.
Initially, the Pentagon estimated that the Abrams shipments would take over a year, but officials vowed to accelerate the process in March. In order to meet the deadline, the decision was made to send the tank’s older M1A1 variant, which required significant repairs and renovations, costing over $400 million. Ukrainian President Joe Biden initially opposed authorizing the Abrams for Ukraine, but his administration later changed course and pledged to transfer 31 M1A1 models to convince Berlin to send its Leopard battle tanks. As a result, Western states have committed to providing a total of around 300 battle tanks.
The mid-September deadline for the arrival of the tanks coincides with the approval of the latest weapons package for Ukraine by the White House. The package, valued at approximately $250 million, includes additional munitions for the HIMARS rocket system, AIM-9M air defense missiles, Javelin and other anti-tank weapons, as well as 3 million rounds of small arms ammunition. Officials are hopeful that these arms will support Ukraine’s counteroffensive, which has struggled to regain territory from Russian forces during the summer.
Moscow has consistently criticized the US arms shipments to Kiev, arguing that they will only prolong the conflict without deterring its objectives. The Russian Embassy in the United States condemned this week’s transfer as “the height of hypocrisy,” asserting that US officials “will not give up the concept of fighting Russia to the last Ukrainian.”
In conclusion, the delivery of M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine is expected to occur in mid-September. The tanks are undergoing refurbishments in Germany, where Ukrainian soldiers have undergone training. The US government remains committed to expediting the delivery of the tanks, and its latest weapons package for Ukraine has been approved. Despite criticism from Moscow, the US continues to support Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict with Russian forces.