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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Second Abrams tank & mine-clearing vehicle destroyed in Ukraine conflict – media

Photos and videos of the damaged US-made equipment have surfaced online and have been shared by Russian journalists

The Russian forces have allegedly knocked out another one of the US-made Abrams tanks supplied to Ukraine by Washington, the Russian media reported on Sunday, pointing to the images that surfaced online. Moscow’s troops also reportedly destroyed a tracked mine-clearing vehicle based on the Abrams chassis.

Photos of a destroyed tank first appeared in the Telegram channel of a Russian journalist and a talk show host, Vladimir Solovyev. The heavy armor was hit near the village of Berdychi, not far from the Donbass city of Avdeevka, which was recently seized by the Russian troops, he said in a comment to the image.

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The Russian soldiers first stopped the tank by firing a grenade launcher at its chassis, Solovyev said, adding that the heavy equipment was eventually destroyed by a storm squad. The journalist did not reveal his information sources.

A video demonstrating damaged US-made equipment was also published by a Russian military correspondent, Yury Kotenok, on Sunday. A minute-and-a-half-long clip showed what the journalist described as an M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV). It is a specialized US-made mine- and explosives-clearing vehicle based on the M1 Abrams chassis. It is unclear how many such vehicles had been handed over to Kiev.

Footage shows the tracked armored vehicle standing in the middle of a dirt road while being engulfed in plumes of thick grey smoke. Tongues of flame appear to be licking out of one of its sides. According to Kotenok, the ABV was also destroyed somewhere near Avdeevka.

The Russian Defense Ministry has not commented on the Sunday reports so far. Neither did Kiev.

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The news came about a week after another US-made Ukraine Abrams tank was destroyed in the same area. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed its destruction on February 27. Later, Yan Gagin, an adviser to the head of Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), told journalists that the destroyed heavy equipment was essentially an “empty tin can with a cannon.” According to the official, the US had removed all its sensitive technologies from the tank before it was handed over to Kiev.

While the US announced the delivery of 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine in January 2023, the shipment did not arrive until the autumn, and the vehicles were absent from the front line until February. Washington initially planned to provide Kiev with the more modern M1 A2 version of the tank, but eventually opted to send the inferior A1s to speed up deliveries.

Moscow repeatedly stated that no amount of Western arms deliveries could change the situation on the battlefield, adding that any Western-supplied weapons and military equipment sent to Ukraine “will burn.”