Ukraine will “quickly” obtain M1 Abrams tanks from america as Kyiv’s forces make “regular” progress in a counter-offensive towards Moscow’s troops, US Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin mentioned on Tuesday.
Washington had promised the tanks to Kyiv at the start of the yr, a part of greater than $43 billion in safety help pledged by america since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
“I’m… happy to announce that the M1 Abrams tanks that america had beforehand dedicated to will likely be getting into Ukraine quickly,” Austin mentioned on the opening of the Ukraine Protection Contact Group in Germany.
The tanks will likely be paired with 120mm armor-piercing depleted uranium rounds that had been introduced earlier this month.
Such munitions are controversial because of their affiliation with well being issues, equivalent to most cancers and beginning defects, in areas the place they had been utilized in previous conflicts though they haven’t been definitively confirmed to have brought about such points.
Ukraine is battling Russian troops in a slow-moving counter-offensive that it launched in June, which has run into heavy defenses.
Austin mentioned the counter-offensive “continues to make regular ahead progress.
“And courageous Ukrainian troops are breaking by the closely fortified traces of Russia’s military of aggression.”
The US protection chief additionally welcomed new Ukrainian protection minister Rustem Umerov, who was appointed earlier this month in a big change for Kyiv, following corruption scandals on the ministry.
A senior US protection official mentioned forward of the assembly that it was a possibility “to listen to from minister Umerov himself what his imaginative and prescient is, what his precedence is.”
“Democracies like Ukraine have… turnover in management on a regular basis,” the official mentioned, including: “We do count on continuity (from Kyiv).”
US officers have spearheaded the push for worldwide assist for Ukraine, rapidly forging a coalition to again Kyiv after Russia invaded and coordinating assist from dozens of nations by near-monthly Contact Group conferences.
Ukraine’s supporters have additionally offered coaching to Kyiv’s troops, whereas america and different nations have imposed powerful sanctions on Russia.
The targets of the sanctions embrace monetary establishments, expertise imports, and vitality exports.