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FACT CHECK: US-pledged M1 Abrams tanks yet to arrive in Ukraine


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FACT CHECK: US-pledged M1 Abrams tanks yet to arrive in Ukraine
According to the US defense department, 31 M1 Abrams tanks for Ukrainian forces will be delivered in the latter part of this year

Claim: The M1 Abrams battle tanks promised by the US for Ukraine have been deployed. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The Facebook post containing the claim has 198,000 views, 3,900 reactions, 419 comments, and 142 shares as of writing. 

The video was posted on September 6 and bears the caption: “Putin’s fear come true – US-made M1 Abrams deploy to Ukraine against Russian T-72’s.”

The facts: As of September 11, no M1 Abrams tank has been deployed to Ukraine. The US-made tanks are set to arrive in the coming months, as reported by CNN, The Guardian, BBC News, and Al Jazeera.

The US aims to “deliver this important capability to Ukraine by the fall of this year,” according to the US defense department,

Pledged tanks: Earlier this year, US President Joe Biden announced that the US would provide 31 M1 Abrams tanks to equip Ukrainian forces in their war against Russia.

“They need to be able to counter Russia’s evolving tactics and strategy on the battlefield in the very near term. They need to improve their ability to maneuver in open terrain. And, they need an enduring capability to deter and defend against Russian aggression over the long term,” Biden said.

M1 Abrams tanks are considered one of the most powerful ground weapons in the US arsenal and are equipped with advanced armor and weapon systems such as a 120 mm cannon and 50-caliber heavy machine gun. 

On August 7, the first batch of M1 Abrams tanks has been approved for shipment to Ukraine. US troops have also begun training Ukrainian forces on operating the tanks since May.

Additional aid: Earlier this month, the US pledged additional aid amounting to about $1.6 billion for Ukraine. This covers $1 billion for new military and civilian security assistance, including High Mobility Artillery Rocket System rocket systems, antitank weapons, Abrams tanks, and other weapons systems.

Meanwhile, the $600 million security assistance package will cover demolition munitions, mine-clearing equipment, artillery shells, and other weaponry. 

Ukraine-Russia conflict: Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, Ukraine has repeatedly asked its Western allies for security assistance. The US has committed more than $32.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.

Rappler has repeatedly debunked false claims on the Russia-Ukraine conflict: 

 – Ailla Dela Cruz/Rappler.com

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