First Abrams Tanks Have Arrived in Ukraine

Photo: First Abrams Tanks Have Arrived in Ukraine. Source: US Marines Corp

The first M1 Abrams tanks from the United States have already reached Ukraine, and this happened several months ahead of schedule. President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, was informed about the arrival of the American tanks by Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Rustem Umerov, The Gaze reported.

“Good news from Minister Umerov. The Abrams are already in Ukraine and are getting ready to reinforce our brigades. Grateful to our allies for honoring the agreements! We are exploring new contracts and expanding the geography of supply,” said Volodymyr Zelensky.

According to official government statements, more M1 Abrams tanks are expected to arrive in Ukraine in the near future. The ones that were delivered last Saturday are the first of 31 such tanks promised by President Biden’s administration.

The M1 Abrams tanks will join other combat vehicles in Ukraine’s Armed Forces arsenal and can be used for the liberation of territories currently occupied by Russia in the eastern and southern regions of the country.

Last week, both U.S. President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had anticipated the tanks would be shipped in the coming days. This delivery is part of the joint efforts of Western allies to supply significant weaponry several months ahead of the planned timeline.

President Joe Biden’s administration had announced its intention to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine back in January, following months of active discussions about whether these tanks were too complex and heavy for maintenance and repair, potentially discouraging Germany from supplying its Leopard tanks.

The first batch of Abrams tanks provided by the United States to Ukraine was approved for shipment at the beginning of August.

As part of the latest U.S. aid package, Ukraine also received depleted uranium shells designed for Abrams tanks.

It’s worth noting that earlier it became known that ten Stridsvagn 122 combat tanks (upgraded versions of the Leopard 2) from Sweden, along with trained crews, had arrived in Ukraine and were already carrying out combat missions.

The decision to transfer these 10 combat tanks was made on the anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2023. Subsequently, units of the Swedish Armed Forces, led by the Ground Forces Staff, began training future Ukrainian tank crews.