Posted by on September 19, 2023 11:40 am
Categories: News Washington Examiner

American tanks to arrive in Ukraine ‘soon,’ US says

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, left, and Rustem Umerov, Ukraine’s Defense Minister attend the meeting of the ‘Ukraine Defense Contact Group’ at Ramstein Air Base in Ramstein, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023. Austin urged allied defense leaders Tuesday to “dig deep” and provide more air defense systems for Ukraine, to help the country block increasing barrages of Russian missiles. (AP Photo/Michael Probst) Michael Probst/AP

American tanks to arrive in Ukraine ‘soon,’ US says

Mike Brest September 19, 11:32 AM September 19, 11:32 AM Video Embed

Ukraine will receive the tanks committed by the United States “soon,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Tuesday.

Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led the 15th Defense Contact Group meeting with leaders from roughly 50 countries at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Tuesday. It was the first contact group meeting since Rustem Umerov took over as Ukraine’s minister of defense following the removal of former Minister Oleksii Reznikov.


President Joe Biden agreed to provide 31 M1A1 Abrams tanks back in January, though it’s unclear how many of them will reach Ukraine in the near future and when exactly that will happen.

“Ukraine’s counteroffensive continues to make steady forward progress. And brave Ukrainian troops are breaking through the heavily fortified lines of Russia’s army of aggression,” Austin explained. “Ukraine’s progress is a testament to the fighting spirit of its people. But Ukraine’s recent gains also hinge on the crucial capabilities provided by the members of this Contact Group. And our shared commitment will be vital during the current battles — and for the long road ahead … I’m also pleased to announce that the M1 Abrams tanks that the United States had previously committed to will be entering Ukraine soon.”

The secretary also announced that the coalition of Western allies who are involved in the effort to get F-16 fighter aircraft to Ukraine have begun the training.

Despite the positive news for Ukraine on the F-16s and tanks, the U.S. has still not fulfilled its request for long-range missiles that would enable them to strike targets in Russian territory.

“If they requested it, they believe that they need it,” Austin added when asked if Ukraine’s request for Army Tactical Missile Systems was legitimate. “What we have been focused on and what we remain focused on is what Ukraine’s most urgent needs are,” which he said were air defense systems.

The secretary also reiterated the U.S.’s long-term commitment to Ukraine, stating, “We will stay united. We will stay resolute. We will stay firm in our determination to defend Ukraine and to uphold a world where aggression does not pay.”


Austin also contrasted the meeting of dozens of defense leaders who met in support of Ukraine and Russia, which has been “left alone with the likes of Iran and North Korea.” The U.S. has warned in recent weeks of a possible arms deal between North Korea and Russia, and those fears were heightened during Kim Jong Un’s trip to Russia last week, though no such deal was announced publicly.

While Austin and Milley were meeting with defense leaders from across the globe, Presidents Biden and Volodymyr Zelensky are in New York at the United Nations General Assembly.

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