Pentagon confirms it will send an older version of Abrams to Ukraine as it will be faster.
On Tuesday, Patrick Ryder, US Department of Defence spokesman, confirmed that Ukraine would receive an older modification of American Abrams tanks – this will speed up their shipment and acquisition by the Ukrainian military personnel.
"After further study and analysis on how best to do this, DoD, in close coordination with Ukraine, has decided to provide the M1A1 variant of the Abrams tank, which will enable us to submit significantly expedited delivery timelines and deliver this important capability to Ukraine by the fall of this year," he said.
According to the Pentagon's representative, the United States will also provide Ukraine with "modern armored vehicles and weapons systems" that are "very similar in capabilities" to the M1A2 Abrams tank, particularly 50 mm heavy machine guns and 120 mm guns.
As American officials explained their comments the day before, it will be easier for Ukrainian troops to learn to use and maintain an older tank model.
Initially, the United States planned to send Ukraine 31 newer M1A2 Abrams tanks, which could take a year or two to produce and deliver.
The Biden administration announced its intention to send tanks to Ukraine in January. After months of insisting that the tanks were too complex and challenging to maintain and repair, they took this step.
Russia requested lethal aid from China.
Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance, stated that there are signs that Russia has requested lethal aid from China to bolster the full-scale war in Ukraine.
"We haven’t seen any proof that China is delivering lethal weapons to Russia, but we have seen some signs that this has been a request from Russia and that this is an issue considered in Beijing by the Chinese authorities," the NATO Secretary General said.
He warned China against providing lethal aid to Russia, which, according to the Secretary-General, would be "to support an illegal war."
According to Stoltenberg, the visit of Chinese leader Xi Jinping to Russia and his meeting with Vladimir Putin signals the closer ties developing between Beijing and Moscow in recent years.
"We see how China and Russia are coming closer and closer in the military domain – joint exercises, joint patrols, naval and air patrols – in the economic domain and the political and diplomatic domain. So the meeting in Moscow is part of that pattern where China and Russia are working more and more closely and building a stronger and stronger partnership," he said.
The media previously reported that the US has intelligence data that the Chinese government is considering supplying Russia with attack drones and ammunition for use in the war in Ukraine.
Ukraine's defense forces down 16 Russian Shahid drones overnight, eight over Kyiv.
Ukraine’s defense forces downed 16 out of 21 Russian drones during an attack by the Russians on the night of 21–22 March.
General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported: "Last night, on the night of 21–22 March, the enemy deployed Shahed-136 UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] to launch a large-scale airstrike [on Ukraine].
The information indicates that 16 out of 21 drones were destroyed by Ukraine’s defense forces."
At the same time, Serhiy Popko, Head of the Kyiv City Military Administration, stated that 8 Russian Shahid UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] had been detected over Kyiv, and all of them had been destroyed.
The night attack of "Shahid" on Kyiv Oblast: school dormitories in Rzhyshchiv damaged, three dead.
Three people were killed and seven others injured in an overnight Russian attack on Kyiv Oblast, school dormitories were damaged, and four more people are being searched for under the rubble.
A civilian facility has been damaged due to an overnight drone attack in Kyiv Oblast. We currently know that there are three dead. A total of 20 people were taken to the hospital.