President Vladimir Zelensky confirmed the long-expected arrival of Abrams armored vehicles this week
Ukrainian officials are not expecting US-made Abrams main battle tanks to be a game changer in the conflict with Russia, the Wall Street Journal has reported. President Vladimir Zelensky announced the arrival of the vehicles in Ukraine this week.
Writing on social media on Monday, Zelensky shared the “good news” from the Ukrainian Defense Ministry about the first delivery of Abrams tanks, claiming they would “strengthen our brigades.” Washington pledged in January to deliver 31 of the vehicles to Kiev.
The WSJ noted that while the Abrams may have “some technical advantages” compared to other Western tanks already provided to Ukraine, the difference was not significant. Instead, their arrival “offers a morale boost to Ukrainian forces,” the newspaper claimed.
“Ukrainian officials acknowledge that, four months into the offensive, the vehicles are unlikely to significantly alter the shape of the war,” it added.
Zelensky’s government has previously touted deliveries of new Western military capabilities as a major achievement, including the supply of American Javelin anti-tank missiles early in the conflict and British Storm Shadow cruise missiles delivered in May.
Kiev is currently focused on securing ATACMS tactical ballistic missiles and F-16 fighter jets from Washington and its allies.
However, several senior Ukrainian officials have played down expectations after the summer counteroffensive failed to produce rapid territorial gains.
Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kirill Budanov warned last week that Abrams tanks “will not live very long” unless they are deployed “in a very tailored way for very specific, well-crafted operations.”
Speaking at the UN Security Council earlier this month, Russian diplomat Vassily Nebenzia argued that the fate of Abrams tanks and F-16s sent to Ukraine would be the same as the Western hardware already destroyed by Russian forces, including US-made Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, German Leopard tanks, and British Challenger tanks.
Moscow has repeatedly insisted that the amount of military aid sent by the West to Kiev can only prolong the conflict, but will not change its outcome.
September 26, 2023 at 03:03PM