No more Abrams' tale of ‘power’: US M1 Abrams tanks are burning like the others in Ukraine

9:38 08.03.2024 •

Destruction of US M1A1 Abrams in Ukraine.
Photo: Military Watch Magazine

In under a week, Ukraine witnessed the destruction of three U.S.-made M1 Abrams tanks, reportedly by Russian anti-tank guided missiles. These losses, particularly highlighted on social media, have served as a propaganda boost for Russia. The U.S. initially supplied thirty-one M1 Abrams to Ukraine, a contribution that has been critiqued as insufficient to alter the battlefield dynamics significantly, writes ‘The National Interest’.

The introduction of Western tanks, including the British Challenger 2s and German Leopard 2s, has been challenged by the steep learning curve for Ukrainian crews accustomed to Soviet-based models. Amidst these developments, Ukraine's conflict zone has been labeled a "graveyard of tanks."

In less than a week, Ukraine has reportedly seen three of its U.S.-made M1 Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs) destroyed in the ongoing fighting. Videos have circulated online showing the respective destruction of the latest two tanks—including the third that was reportedly hit by an anti-tank guided missile north of the village of Berdychi.

The destruction of three M1 Abrams MBTs in less than a week has become a mini propaganda coup for the Kremlin, and another video showed a Russian Army soldier addressing President Joe Biden and thanking him for sending the Abrams to Ukraine.

Last year, U.S. officials argued the heavy M1A1 MBTs could shift the battlefield balance of power in Ukraine’s favor and assist Kyiv’s offensive. However, the small number of vehicles failed to be much of a game-changer, as The Wall Street Journal remarked last September.

Many armored vehicle experts had warned that a total of just thirty-one M1 Abrams was never going to be significant enough for Kyiv. The same has held true for the fourteen British-supplied Challenger 2s, as well as the German Leopard 2s that were supplied last year to Ukraine.

“From the very beginning, our fighters said that these tanks would burn like the others,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in remarks to Russian state media.

Ukraine has become the graveyard of tanks, and whether American military officials like to admit it, three M1 Abrams are just additional corpses. They burned like other tanks — and the thousands of other tanks before.


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