Volodimir Zelensky confirmed the arrival of the first American Abrams tanks in Ukraine

M1A2 Abrams tanks in a NATO exercise (Europa Press) (Europa Press/Contact/US Army/)

The Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky, announced this Monday the arrival in his country of the first American Abrams tankswith which his army hopes to give new impetus to the counteroffensive against the Russian troops.

“Good news from Minister (of Defense, Rustem) Umerov. The Abrams are already in Ukraine and are preparing to reinforce our brigades”Zelensky said on his Telegram channel.

I thank our allies for fulfilling the agreements! We are looking for new contracts and expanding the geography of supply,” added the president, in his permanent campaign to reinforce defense reserves.

According to the head of Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR), Kirilo Budanov, the army does not intend to use them 100% in the framework of its current counteroffensive, since armored vehicles are easy prey for suicide drones and minefields. As he explained, kyiv has learned its lesson after suffering a severe setback at the beginning of the current offensive in June, so now motorized units are only used to transport or evacuate troops.

The Abrams must be used for very specific and very well prepared operations, since if you deploy them at the forefront they will not survive on the battlefield for long.”, he highlighted.

An M1A1 Abrams tank during a demonstration in Mississippi (via AP)
An M1A1 Abrams tank during a demonstration in Mississippi (via AP) (Courtland Wells/)

The United States promised a total of 31 tanks Abrams to Ukraineequipped with 120 mm ammunition with depleted uranium.

These munitions can penetrate armor and are also a source of controversy due to the toxic risks for the military and the civilian population.

The decision to deliver tanks Abrams to Ukraine It was a change in the position of the United States, whose defense commanders previously maintained that these tanks were not suitable for Kiev troops due to the complexity of their operation, which requires training.

Ukrainian artillery near Bakhmut (Madeleine Kelly/SOPA Images via / DPA)
Ukrainian artillery near Bakhmut (Madeleine Kelly/SOPA Images via / DPA) (Madeleine Kelly/SOPA Images via /)

Counteroffensive progress

Ukraine claimed over the weekend that it had managed to break the first Russian defense lines on the southern front and its army claimed that “senior commanders” of the Russian Navy were killed or wounded in a Ukrainian bombing of the headquarters in Crimea. This Monday, he announced that he had shot down the commander of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea, Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolovduring said operation.

With its counteroffensive, which began in June, the Ukrainian army has so far made little territorial progress, but claims that in recent weeks it has managed to penetrate the first lines of the Russian fortified defenses on the southern front, after taking control of the town of Robotyne.

“On the left flank we have made progress and we continue to advance,” said Ukrainian General Oleksandre Tarnavski in an interview with CNN, acknowledging slower than expected progress. The fighting is now taking place east of Robotyne, near Verbove.

The operation is not developing “as quickly as thought,” he declared. The objective now is to take the Russian bastion of Tokmak, an important logistical hub located 20 kilometers south of the current front line.

(With information from AFP)