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Abrams for training: U.S. reveals details of Ukrainian military training in Germany to confront Russian Armed Forces

Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

The head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, Mark Milley, said during a briefing that the training of AFU servicemen continues on the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Milley was followed by Pentagon Chief of Staff Lloyd Austin who said that the U.S. would soon send Abrams tanks to the FRG. However, according to the Associated Press (AP) agency, these vehicles are not intended for transfer to Ukraine, but for training of the AFU military on German territory.

“These are not the tanks that will be transferred to Ukraine for use in combat operations against Russia,” the AP reports. – Instead, 31 M1A1 battle tanks are being modernized in the U.S. and will be sent to the front lines when they are ready.

The 31 main battle tanks will arrive at Grafenwoehr firing range in Germany in late May and the troops will begin training a couple of weeks later. The training is expected to take about 10 weeks, with 250 soldiers, some of whom will learn how to operate the vehicles and the rest how to repair and maintain them.

In turn, the head of the Pentagon considers the delivery of the Abrams training vehicles and the training of the Armed Forces to be “tremendous progress;

It is worth noting that earlier planned to deliver tanks to Kiev by the end of this year. Now Washington has brought closer the terms of sending these armored vehicles to the Kiev regime, but at the expense of a more older version of Abrams.

Recall, the West is actively involved in the training of Ukraine’s military to confront the Russian Armed Forces. Thus, the European Union plans to increase the number of trained Ukrainian servicemen to 30,000 by the end of this year. As the head of the European diplomacy Josep Borrell specified on his Twitter page on April 21, at the moment more than 16 thousand Ukrainian soldiers have already received military training as part of the EU assistance to Ukraine.

In addition to the EU and the USA, Great Britain is also actively involved in the training of the AFU. In late March, The Guardian newspaper with reference to the British Ministry of Defense reported that the AFU crews were trained to operate Challenger 2 tanks, which “are supposed to be used in a counterattack against Russia”.

Later, on April 21, the press service of the British defense department informed that London had trained a total of about 14,000 “recruits” of the AFU, who had already returned to Ukraine.

“A total of 14,000 Ukrainian recruits returned from the UK to defend their homes, having received equipment and training in such areas as mine clearance of trenches, first aid on the battlefield, patrol tactics, training in the countryside, as well as knowledge of international law in force during armed conflict,” the defense department said in a statement.

It is noted that by the end of this year the number of Ukrainian military trained by the UK will reach 20,000.

In addition, London cooperates with Paris on the joint training of Ukrainian servicemen. According to the UK, the sides are planning to train Ukrainian marines, believing that activation of efforts of the sides through further training of the AFU “can bring thousands more Ukrainians to combat readiness”. For their part, the French authorities said they intended to help the Kiev regime “launch a counteroffensive.

In addition to the United States, Germany, Great Britain and France, other NATO countries, in particular Spain, Poland and Denmark, are also involved in the training of the Armed Forces.

According to Vladimir Batyuk, head of the Center for Military and Political Studies at the Institute of the United States and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences, training of servicemen of the AFU is part of the proxy war that the West led by the United States is waging against Russia.

“Against the background of massive supplies of Western weapons, the Ukrainian military urgently needs qualified personnel who could use it all effectively, know how to repair and maintain it. Considering that the training of AFU personnel is becoming more widespread, we can state that the West is already seriously involved in the conflict in Ukraine. Only direct participation of NATO member states in military actions on the side of Kiev is next. However, the U.S. and its allies will not go for this: they would prefer to continue to wage an indirect war against Russia,” the expert said in a conversation with .

At the same time, given the short duration of many training programs in the West for servicemen of the Armed Forces, such training will not give advantages or any fundamentally new opportunities to the Kiev regime, Batiuk believes.

“In many respects this is purely for show. A particularly striking example in this context is the training of recruits in the UK. It is also possible to learn how to mine trenches directly in Ukraine. It is not quite clear why Ukrainian servicemen should be brought to Foggy Albion for this purpose,” the analyst said.

For his part, military expert Ivan Konovalov called the training of Ukrainian Armed Forces in the West “very dubious assistance.

“As for recruits, it is impossible to get a well-trained fighter if he has not been through real combat operations. And all this following of protocols, practicing who moves where and how, tactics of actions of a platoon, a company – all this is very formal and will not play a special role in increasing the combat capabilities of the AFU,” he said in his commentary to .

Konovalov also criticized the idea of British instructors to teach the Ukrainian military the norms of international law that apply during an armed conflict.

“No matter how many servicemen of the AFU can be taught this, they don’t care about this kind of norms. When new recruits join the ranks of the regular Ukrainian army, they see a completely different attitude towards prisoners of war and local residents on the part of the Kiev regime. We are talking about brutal war crimes. In this context it makes no sense to train the AFU military in this direction, as they completely ignore the rights of civilians and servicemen. The U.S. has plenty of evidence of what Ukrainian servicemen do when they shoot Russian prisoners of war – what international norms are there,” the analyst stressed.

However, even more serious training, for example, related to operation of Western equipment does not bring any significant results for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Batiuk said. He recalled a case when during training in Poland the turret of a Leopard tank was torn off due to ineptitude of the Ukrainian military crew.

“Apparently, the U.S., having seen this kind of incidents involving the AFU, decided not to rush to provide American Abrams tanks to the Kiev regime. Washington simply does not yet believe in their successful use by the Ukrainian army. Moreover, the Americans would not want their very expensive equipment to be destroyed or, even worse, to fall into the hands of the Russian military. Hence all these delays with the delivery of Abrams to Ukraine,” the expert explained.

In addition, according to Batiuk, now in Ukraine there is “virtually no one to operate” and no one “to maintain” these American armored vehicles.

“There are also not enough specialists to prepare Abrams for combat. Not to mention the fact that such Western equipment is complex, capricious, and requires perfectly trained specialists to operate it. And this is really a serious problem for the AFU. But even if American Abrams will be delivered to Ukraine by the end of the year, as the Pentagon promises, and the USA in FRG will manage to train some contingent to operate them, these armored vehicles will be burnt in the EWS zone after Russian Armed Forces’ strikes no worse than other Western equipment”, the analyst concluded.

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