Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reported that the first American-made M1 Abrams tanks were delivered to his country. The tanks arrived ahead of schedule.
Two officials who spoke to The New York Times anonymously explained that more M1 Abrams tanks will be shipped in the coming months. They assured that those that arrived this week were the first of the 31 that the Biden administration promised to provide.
"The Abrams will be among other tanks in Ukraine’s arsenal that it could use to push into, and possibly reclaim, Russian-held territory in Ukraine’s eastern and southern regions, where fighting has ground on for months without major breakthroughs," NYT reported.
The New York Times report explained that former senior U.S. military officials are saying it could be some time before the Abrams are sent to the battlefield, as the Ukrainian troops want to have the necessary support elements.
At the beginning of the year, President Biden announced that the United States would send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine:
We will send 31 Abrams tanks, the equivalent of a Ukrainian battalion. These tanks are further proof of our enduring commitment to Ukraine and our confidence in the capabilities of Ukrainian forces. We are going to make sure that the Ukrainians are well equipped to fight this battle. It is [a battle] for freedom.
'They too will burn'
Regarding the arrival of the tanks, Russia assured that this will not alter its offensive. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a statement reported by The Moscow Times that there is no weapon that can defeat Russian power:
All this can in no way affect the essence of the special military operation, its outcome. There is no panacea, no single weapon that can change the balance of power on the battlefield. They too will burn.