JAKARTA - Russia criticized the United States' decision to send its M1 Abrams main battle tank (MBT) to Ukraine, warning it would not improve the capabilities of the Kyiv forces and would eventually be destroyed.
US President Joe Biden announced plans to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, following Germany's move to send Leopard 2 tanks.
In response, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said any delivery of the M1 Abrams would be a waste of money as it catches fire like any other tank in Ukraine.
"I believe that many experts understand the absurdity of this idea," Peskov said, as reported by Reuters on January 26.
"The plan is disastrous in terms of technology. But above all, it overestimates the potential that will be added to the Ukrainian army. These tanks will burn like everything else," Peskov said.
Earlier, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov warned that the Russian armed forces would destroy US-made M1 Abrams tanks and other NATO military equipment if supplied to Ukraine.
"If the decision to transfer the M1 Abrams to Kyiv is made, the American tank will without a doubt be destroyed like all other samples of NATO military equipment," the ambassador said when asked to comment on the planned delivery, TASS quoted him as saying.
"Obviously, Washington is deliberately trying to inflict a strategic defeat on us," he said.
In its words, the Washington government gave a "green light" to use US aid to attack Crimea and "covered the crimes committed by radicals against the population of the Donbass, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions."
"More and more officials and experts in America are admitting, it's all about the US proxy war with our country," said Antonov.
| BERITA 26 Januari 2023, 06:08
| BERITA 25 Januari 2023, 19:23
Moreover, he described the possible delivery of tanks to the Kyiv government as another blatant provocation against Russia.
"If the United States decides to supply tanks, it is impossible to justify such a move using the argument about "defensive weapons". This would be a blatant provocation against the Russian Federation. No one should have any illusions about who the real aggressor is in this current conflict," said the Russian diplomat.
Kyiv has for months been asking for Western tanks it says it urgently needs, to give its troops the firepower and mobility to break through Russian lines and retake occupied territory to the east and south.
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