Abrams Tanks Headed to Germany on way to Ukraine

April 21, 2023

American M1A1 Abrams tanks are set to arrive in Germany “in the next few weeks,” and Ukrainians will be training on them by next month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Friday.

Ukrainian forces have long sought advanced Western battle tanks, and the U.S. announced in March it was speeding up delivery of the 31 promised Abrams tanks, which had been expected to take up to a year to be battle-ready in Ukraine for its war against Russia.

German, British and other Western-donated tanks have already arrived in Ukraine in recent weeks. 

“I am confident that this equipment and the training that’s accompanying it will put Ukraine’s forces in a position to continue to succeed on the battlefield,” Austin said Friday.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, who spoke alongside Austin, said when the Abrams are delivered to Ukraine it “will make a difference” in the war.

Austin and Milley were in Germany to mark the one-year anniversary of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group. Made up of defense leaders from roughly 50 countries, the group was set up to coordinate military assistance to Ukraine after Russia invaded in February 2022. Friday marked the group’s 111th meeting so far.

Ukraine is preparing a counteroffensive to retake Russian-occupied territories as the war approaches its 14-month mark.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has argued that if Russia wins the battle for Bakhmut, where some of the bloodiest, most exhaustive fighting has been taking place, it could allow Putin to begin building international support for a deal that would require Ukraine to make unacceptable compromises to end the war.

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