US Abrams tank seen in Ukraine for first time

Photos of the tank in Ukraine appeared on social media for the first time (ES Composite)
Photos of the tank in Ukraine appeared on social media for the first time (ES Composite)

A US-made Abrams tank has been spotted on the Ukrainian battlefield for the first time, images show.

Photos posted to social media shows soldiers crouching on top of the tank in front of some trees.

It is “sporting a woodland paint scheme”, according to military analysts.

The US supplied 31 M1A1 Abrams to Kyiv in September, with American soldiers training their Ukrainian counterparts on how to operate them.

But they have not been spotted until now and Ukraine has so-far used Bradleys and Leopards most often – also delivered by the West.

This is because Abrams, used extensively during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, is difficult to put to good use in the current weather, military advisers have said.

Retired US Marine Corps colonel Mark Cancian previously told Business Insider: "Since the front is stable, the Ukrainians are likely keeping them in reserve.”

On Monday, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs James O'Brien said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will highlight the NATO alliance's ongoing support for Ukraine in its war with Russia in Europe this week.

The war between Israel and Hamas and heightened tensions in the wider Middle East have raised concerns that Washington cannot sustain the level of military and diplomatic support it has given Ukraine since Russia's February 2022 invasion.

Asked about a report by Germany's Bild newspaper that the United States and Germany were quietly nudging Kyiv into negotiations with Moscow, Mr O'Brien said Washington does not have such a policy.

"We've always said that this is a matter for Ukraine to decide," he added.