Ukraine Pulls US Abrams Tanks from the Front Line

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The Ukrainian Armed Forces are finding it increasingly difficult to use Abrams tanks because of Russian drones. According to the AP news agency, Russia has already destroyed five of the 31 Abrams tanks handed over by the USA to Kytv. Ukraine has removed the US-provided Abrams M1A1 tanks from the frontline to the periphery because Russian drones do not allow them to be deployed undetected. This was reported by the AP news agency on Friday, 26 April, citing the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, US Navy Admiral Christopher Grady, as well as two unnamed US military officials. “The U.S. agreed to send 31 Abrams to Ukraine in January 2023 after an aggressive monthslong campaign by Kyiv arguing that the tanks, which cost about $10 million apiece, were vital to its ability to breach Russian lines,” the agency recalls. But the battlefield has changed substantially since then, according to the publication. In particular, by the ubiquitous use of Russian surveillance drones and hunter-killer drones with explosives on board, it has become more difficult for Ukraine to protect its tanks against attacks by the Russian Armed Forces, the agency’s interlocutors said. According to AP, five of the 31 tanks provided to the AFU by the USA have already been lost to Russian attacks. Ukraine is preparing to change tactics Admiral Grady told the AP that the US is now discussing a change in tactics with Ukraine. “When you think about the way the fight has evolved, massed armor in an environment where unmanned aerial systems are ubiquitous can be at risk,” the senior military official stated. The report of the Ukrainian armed forces withdrawing US tanks from the front line comes on the eve of the second anniversary of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group. It is a coalition of about 50 countries that meets once a month to assess Kyiv’s needs on the battlefield and determine where to find necessary ammunition and weapons for the Ukrainian armed forces, or to perform maintenance on the Ukrainian army’s equipment to keep it combat capable.