Despite issues, US to send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine & More Trending News

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden introduced Wednesday that the U.S. will send 31 M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, reversing months of persistent arguments that the tanks had been too troublesome for Ukrainian troops to function and keep.

The U.S. choice got here on the heels of Germany agreeing to send 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks from its personal shares. Germany had stated the Leopards wouldn’t be despatched except the U.S. put its Abrams on the desk, not wanting to incur Russia’s wrath with out the U.S. equally committing its personal tanks.

Biden stated that in complete European allies have agreed to send sufficient tanks to equip two Ukrainian tank battalions, or a complete of about 62 tanks.

“With spring approaching, Ukrainian forces are working to defend the territory they hold and preparing for additional counter offenses,” Biden stated in his announcement of his choice to send the tanks. “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.”

The announcement ends a standoff between Germany and the United States. Biden administration officers on Wednesday sought to downplay any friction between the 2 nations as each unveiled their plans.

Both sides had participated in “good diplomatic conversations” that had made the distinction and had been a part of the “extraordinary shift in Germany’s security policy” over offering weapons to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February, stated a senior administration official, who briefed reporters Wednesday on the situation of anonymity to describe the brand new tank bundle earlier than the announcement.

The $400 million bundle introduced Wednesday additionally consists of eight M88 restoration autos — tank-like tracked autos that may tow the Abrams if it will get caught.

Frontline volunteers in japanese Ukraine sacrifice their lives to ship assist and evacuate civilians. (Source: CNN)

Altogether, France, the U.Okay., the U.S., Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden will send a whole bunch of tanks and heavy armored autos to fortify Ukraine because it enters a brand new section of the warfare and makes an attempt to break by means of entrenched Russian strains.

The U.S. tanks might be bought by means of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which suggests it’s going to take a while for the Ukrainian forces to obtain the tanks and find a way to deploy them on the battlefield. The Pentagon plans quickly to start coaching Ukrainian forces on the system outdoors of Ukraine.

The U.S. has 1000’s of Abrams in inventory. Still, it doesn’t have “excess stock,” stated White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. He stated Ukraine’s navy may have to undergo vital preparation to be taught to function, keep and maintain the Abrams. It’s a course of that can take some months.

Using the help initiative funding route, as a substitute of dipping into the prevailing U.S. stockpile, means it’s unlikely the tanks might be obtainable to Ukraine earlier than Russia’s anticipated spring offensive.

Kirby declined to pinpoint when the Abrams might be delivered, however stated the German-made Leopards are anticipated to make their manner to Ukrainian forces extra shortly. The deployment additionally means that the U.S., and allies, are girding to help Ukraine for a protracted warfare that exhibits no indicators of coming to an finish.

Doug Bush, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, stated the U.S. inventory consists of each the older variants and newer M1A2 Abrams variants, and when a “new” tank is required, it begins with an older hull.

“We don’t produce any tanks from scratch anymore,” Bush stated. “We have a large stock of older M1s that we use as seed vehicles. Were we to ever run out of those, sure we would build new. But right now, no matter which option we go, we don’t have to build completely new.”

(CNN, UKRAINE MINISTRY OF DEFENSE, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTS OFFICE, RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE, RADIO FREE EUROPE, RADIO LIBERTY, KRAMATORSK MAYOR, TWITTER)

The Russian ambassador to Germany, Sergey Nechayev, referred to as Berlin’s choice to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine “extremely dangerous” and stated it “shifts the conflict to a new level of confrontation.”

Biden insisted the choice to present the tanks shouldn’t be seen as an escalation by Russia.

“It is not an offensive threat to Russia,” he stated. “There is no offensive threat to Russia. If Russian troops return to Russia, where they belong, this war would be over today.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy applauded Biden for the “powerful decision to provide Abrams,” declaring on Twitter that “the free world is united as never before” within the 11-month-old warfare.

Until now, the U.S. had resisted offering its personal M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, citing intensive and complicated upkeep and logistical challenges with the high-tech autos. Washington believes will probably be extra productive to send the German Leopards since many allies have them and Ukrainian troops will want much less coaching than on the tougher Abrams.

Biden in an alternate with reporters bristled on the notion that Germany, which had declined to present tanks till the U.S. agreed to present its Abrams, compelled his hand.

“Germany didn’t force me to change (my) mind,” Biden stated. “We wanted to make sure we were all together.”

For the Abrams to be efficient in Ukraine, its forces would require intensive coaching on mixed arms maneuver — how the tanks function collectively on the battlefield — and on how to keep and help the advanced, 70-ton weapon. The Abrams tanks use a turbine jet engine to propel themselves that burns by means of at the least two gallons a mile (about 4.7 liters a kilometer) no matter whether or not they’re shifting or idling, which implies that a community of gas vans is required to hold the road shifting.

“When they get there, we want to make sure that they fall on ready hands, and that the Ukrainians know how to use them, they know how to keep them running, and they’ve got the supply chain in place for spare parts and supplies, and anything else they need so that they can be more effective on the battlefield,” Kirby stated.

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Associated Press author Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report.

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Follow the AP’s protection of the warfare at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Despite issues, US to send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine

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