BERLIN, October 2. /TASS/. The Abrams tanks being supplied to Kiev by the West have become more vulnerable amid the rapid spread of drones during the combat operations in Ukraine, military expert Gustav Gressel, of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), said in an interview with Der Tagesspiegel newspaper.
He believes that the supplies of Abrams tanks to Ukraine are an example of the role the factor of time can play when it comes to arms supplies.
"The technologies of warfare are changing fast. The rapid proliferation of drones has made [Abrams] tanks more vulnerable. They can be detected and destroyed more quickly," the expert explained.
Gressel believes that as recently as last fall, when the Russian forces still had far fewer UAVs at their disposal, Western battle tanks could have been a major advantage for Ukraine. Today their significance has diminished, Gressel added. This view is shared by retired General Ben Hodges, a former commander of US forces in Europe. He acknowledges that the supplies of Abrams tanks to Ukraine are no longer capable of turning the tide of hostilities in Kiev’s favor.
On Monday, Colonel Sergey Suvorov (retired), an expert in the field of armored vehicles, told TASS in an interview that the Western-made tanks transferred to Kiev were often destroyed by Russian troops due to their incompetent use by the Ukrainian personnel. He said the Ukrainian command was sending the Western equipment forward without proper support and without making passages through minefields or conducting proper reconnaissance. As a result, the vehicles often turn into sitting ducks and easy targets for all kinds of Russian weapons, the expert summarized.
The New York Times reported on September 25 that the first batch of Abrams tanks had arrived in Ukraine ahead of schedule. The newspaper's sources did not specify how many such vehicles had been delivered to Ukraine so far. The remaining tanks out of the 31 promised by US President Joe Biden’s administration will arrive in Ukraine within the next few months, the newspaper's sources said. According to the daily, Kiev had requested at least 300 Western tanks for the counteroffensive, but has so far received half of the desirable amount.
The Ukrainian army has been making unsuccessful offensive attempts since June 4. On September 12, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Kiev had lost 71,500 troops and about 18,500 tanks and other armored vehicles by that date. Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu said on 26 September that Ukraine's losses had exceeded 17,000 men in one month alone, and that the counter-offensive had failed to yield significant results.