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“Who” Actually Operates the US-Made Abrams Tanks in Ukraine?

Many parties have stated that Ukrainian soldiers are not adequately trained to operate Abrams main battle tanks, and this responsibility is borne by "Western defense contractors" or even American soldiers themselves. A serious allegation.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Some parties have begun to question whether Ukrainian soldiers are truly capable of handling the 31 newly arrived M1A1 Abrams tanks in the country to face the Russian military.

This is because Ukrainian troops were only given three months of training to operate these complex and modern main battle tanks compared to the eight months that American soldiers typically undergo.

“It should be an eight-month training, but they want it done in 12 weeks (three months). It’s a fantasy. A good armored vehicle crew should know their vehicle inside out; they should know everything about it,” said a retired Russian military armored vehicle expert, Colonel Viktor Litovkin.

“The language barrier is a significant challenge. Therefore, it is expected that the actual operators of the Abrams tanks are Polish “defense contractors” rather than Ukrainian soldiers, as the Polish military began operating Abrams tanks since last July.

There have been many instances where Western contractors were found operating Western-made weaponry during the Russia-Ukraine conflict due to the limited time available to train Ukrainian soldiers.


For example, operators assigned to operate the Patriot defense system in Kiev were suspected to be “Western defense contractors” or even US military personnel.

In late May, a volunteer Polish unit was observed operating Ukrainian-owned armored vehicles and Mi-8 helicopters in the Grayvoron area of Russia.

Recently, a group of Russian soldiers claimed to have successfully destroyed a Leopard armored vehicle supplied by Germany to the Ukrainian military in a battle in the Zaphorizia region of southern Ukraine.

What surprised the Russian soldiers was that all the crew members of the destroyed Leopard tank were German soldiers, “Bundeswehr.”

The allegation was reported by the leader of the Russian anti-tank group, known as “Legend,” to the Russian news agency Sputnik.

“After destroying the Leopard tank with an anti-tank guided missile system, we approached the tank. However, we saw a mechanic who was one of the Leopard tank crew members still alive, although he was severely injured.


“When we approached him, he started shouting ‘nicht schieben’ (which means ‘don’t shoot’ in German),” said “Legend” to the news agency.

“All the other Leopard tank crew members were dead,” he added.

The severely injured Leopard tank mechanic repeatedly stated that he was not a mercenary but a regular German soldier, just like the other crew members who were killed.

Despite efforts to save him, the German soldier acting as a mechanic for the Leopard tank passed away while receiving medical treatment.

Germany has been one of the strongest supporters of Ukraine, providing various financial aid and weaponry. One of the main weapons systems supplied by the German government to Ukraine is the Leopard main battle tank, developed by the German company Rheinmetall. — DSA



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