Ukraine’s war effort has been aided by the arrival of US Abrams tanks as Ukraine claims to have killed a Russian fleet commander.

the first American-made Abrams tank Now hovering over Ukrainian soil as Ukrainian forces claim to have dealt a significant blow to Russia’s fleet leadership in the Black Sea.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky Confirmed the arrival of the tanks on the Telegram messaging app: “Good news from Minister (of Defense) Umarov. Abrams is already in Ukraine and getting ready to reinforce our brigade.”

He did not specify the number of tanks that have been delivered.

These are the first of 31 M1 Abrams tanks promised by the Biden administration, and come several months ahead of initial estimates. They join tanks already deployed by NATO partners, including German made Leopard and Britain’s Challengers, who arrived last spring.

They are the latest. Heavy weapons sent by the US As Ukraine continues a punitive counter-offensive to penetrate defense zones in Russian-held areas in the south and east of the country.

An Australian Army M1A1 Abrams main battle tank fires at a target during a live fire demonstration at Pika Punyal Military Base north of Melbourne on May 9, 2019.

William West/AFP via Getty Images

It’s a fight that has cost both sides of the war — not just in terms of equipment but in staggering troop losses — without significant territorial advances by Ukrainian forces.

Ukrainian special operations forces have claimed Russia’s latest casualty is the Black Sea Fleet commander in an attack on its headquarters. On the occupied peninsula of Crimea on Friday.

Authorities claim that Commander Viktor Sokolov was killed along with 33 other senior officers.

At the Pentagon, a U.S. official said that while there was no hard confirmation of Sokolov’s death, the fleet commander appeared to have been killed, CBS News’ David Martin reports.

So far, there has been no response from Moscow regarding this claim. But, if true, it would be a huge blow to the Russian war machine – not only the death of one of the country’s highest-ranking officers, but the worst ever attack on Russian-occupied territory far beyond the battlefields of Ukraine. One of the bold attacks. .

As for the Abrams tanks, Washington has been reluctant to send them to the battlefield in Ukraine, amid concerns that the move would escalate tensions with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

And yet the US authorities Confirmed by Martin That the Biden administration promised Zielinski long-range missiles topped with cluster munitions, known as ATACMS – Army Tactical Missile Systems. They have a range of up to 190 miles and can be launched from HIMARS mobile rocket launchers used by the Ukrainian military.

The missiles would allow Ukraine to attack Russian supply lines and command posts beyond the front lines, the kind of reach the military is already capable of.

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