On Tuesday, the Kremlin said US-provided Abrams tanks in Ukraine will not impact Russia’s operations and will “burn” like other Western armored vehicles.
“There is no panacea, no single weapon that can change the balance of power on the battlefield,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “They too will burn,” he added, referring to comments Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously made about Western armor.
Peskov’s comments came a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and US officials said the first batch of Abrams had arrived in Ukraine. The tanks are armed with toxic depleted uranium ammunition, which is linked to cancer and birth defects in areas where it’s been used.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Ukrainian officials have acknowledged that the Abrams tanks are “unlikely to significantly alter the shape of the war.” With Ukraine’s fall rains approaching, muddy conditions will make it difficult for the tanks to operate.
Ukraine’s German-made Leopard tanks and US-made Bradley Fighting Vehicles were a prime target for Russia when Ukraine first launched its counteroffensive and attempted large armored assaults. According to The New York Times, Ukraine lost 20% of the weapons and armor it deployed to the front in the first few weeks of the assault.
President Biden first announced the US would arm Ukraine with Abrams tanks back in January. The pledge was part of a deal to get Germany to agree to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Just a few days before Biden’s announcement, Pentagon officials said Abrams would not be practical for Ukraine since they’re difficult to maintain.