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Austin: Abrams tanks, soon in Ukraine

2023-09-19 12:02:31, Kosova & Bota CNA

Austin: Abrams tanks, soon in Ukraine

Ukraine will "soon" receive M1 Abrams tanks from the United States, as Kiev's forces have made "steady" progress in their counteroffensive against Moscow's troops, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.

At the beginning of the year, Washington promised Kiev these types of tanks. They are part of more than $43 billion in security aid that the US has provided to Ukraine since Russia launched its unprovoked invasion of its neighbor in February 2022.

"I am pleased to announce that the M1 Abrams tanks, which the US has previously promised [Kiev], will soon enter Ukraine," Austin said on September 19, at the start of a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine. The meeting is taking place in Germany.

The tanks will be equipped with 120 millimeter depleted uranium ammunition.

Such munitions – which the US announced last month it would give to Ukraine – are controversial as they have been linked to health problems such as cancer and birth defects. These health problems have been reported in areas where depleted uranium munitions have been used in past conflicts, although it has not yet been definitively determined that they caused these problems.

Ukraine launched a counteroffensive against Russian forces in June, but the counteroffensive has been slower as Kiev's forces have faced tough defenses.

Austin said the counteroffensive "continues to make steady progress."

"Ukrainian troops are breaking through the fortified lines of Russia's aggressive army," he said.

The US defense chief also welcomed Ukraine's new defense minister, Rustem Umerov, who was appointed to the position earlier this month.

A US defense official said before the meeting in Germany that this meeting is an opportunity " to hear from Umerov about his vision and his priorities."

SHBA-ja ka udhëhequr mbështetjen ndërkombëtare për Ukrainën, duke krijuar një koalicion që mbështet Kievin, pasi Rusia nisi pushtimin. Dhjetëra shtete marrin pjesë në Grupin e Kontaktit për Ukrainën.

Mbështetësit e Ukrainës po ashtu u kanë ofruar trajnim trupave të Kievit, ndërkaq SHBA-ja dhe shtetet e tjera kanë vendosur sanksione të ashpra ndaj Rusisë, që kanë prekur sektorin financiar, atë të teknologjisë dhe eksportet e energjisë./ CNA

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