Washington: Training Ukrainian forces on Abrams tanks takes ...| MENAFN.COM

Tuesday, 07 February 2023 12:04 GMT

Washington: Training Ukrainian forces on Abrams tanks takes weeks


(MENAFN- Hip Hop-24) John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator for national security at the White House, said that training Ukrainian forces to use M1 Abrams tanks would take "weeks, not months."

This came in a press statement after US President Joe Biden officially announced the supply of 31 Abrams tanks to Ukrainian forces to help Kyiv confront Russian attacks.

Kirby added that the decision to provide Ukraine with advanced Western tanks "was the result of a diplomatic and military effort," according to CNN.

He explained that the Pentagon will likely need "weeks, not months" to complete the final touches on the tank training and delivery plan.

And he added, "How long will it take? I really can't say. But we don't think it will take too long. I would say probably weeks, not months."

On the other hand, Kirby indicated the possibility of Kyiv continuing its attempt to obtain more military capabilities, including Western fighters.

And he went on, without going into details: "We are in constant discussions with the Ukrainians about their capabilities, and as I said, we develop those capabilities as conditions change."

Earlier today, Biden announced the delivery of 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Kyiv, stressing that this military aid will enhance the ability of Ukrainian forces to repel the ongoing Russian attack.

Biden's approval to give Ukraine Abrams tanks came after an appeal from Kyiv, and coordination with Washington's allies and partners in Europe.

In addition to the tanks, the United States will give Ukraine 8 M88 armored vehicles, to support the Abrams tanks in the event of any malfunction, and to allow maintenance to be carried out on the battlefield.

Prior to Biden's decision, German Chancellor Olaf Schultz settled the issue of handing over Leopard 2 tanks to the Ukrainian army, announcing Berlin's agreement to send 14 combat tanks of this type to Kyiv.

Kyiv had appealed to hand over the German "Leopard 2" tanks, but obtaining them even from the countries that possess them requires Berlin's approval.

Berlin did not take the decision to hand over this type of tank to Kiev, except after completing extensive consultations with its allies, which lasted for weeks.

The Leopard 2 is distinguished by providing comprehensive protection for its crew from threats such as improvised explosive devices, mines and anti-tank fire.

It is noteworthy that the countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization "NATO" fear that supplying Ukraine with military equipment will escalate the pace of the conflict, and turn it into a war with Russia.

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