3rd US Abrams Tank ‘Bites The Dust’ In Ukraine War; Russians Calls It ‘Empty Tin With A Cannon’

On March 5, footage circulating online suggests that Russian forces may have destroyed yet another Abrams tank, which was supplied to Ukraine by the United States.

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If confirmed, this success marks the destruction of the third Abrams tank in the current conflict by the Russian armed forces.

According to Russian state media Tass, the tank was destroyed near Avdeyevka by a soldier who had been awarded the title of Hero of Russia. It is being reported that ‘It was a precise strike. The distance to the target was about 6 kilometers. The strike was at night.’

The video first emerged on Telegram, purportedly revealing the destruction of the third M1 Abrams tank of the 47th mechanized infantry brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, “Magura,” by an Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), reported Pravda.

However, EurAsian Times cannot independently verify the authenticity of the video. Nonetheless, the latest claim follows a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry on March 4, which reported the destruction of the second tank on March 3.

Earlier, state-controlled media outlets released footage on February 4 showing Russian drones destroying an American-made Abrams tank. That marked the second incident of Abrams destruction within a week near the front lines in Ukraine.

The video of the elimination of the second tank first surfaced on the Telegram channel of Russian journalist and talk show host Vladimir Solovyev.

The targeted tank, part of Ukraine’s military arsenal, was struck close to the village of Berdychi, near the city of Avdiivka in the Donbas region recently, captured by Russian forces.

Russian media outlet Izvestia reported that members of Russia’s Army Group Center utilized Upyr first-person-view unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to target the Abrams tank.

That development comes after the first US-made Abrams tank was destroyed in the same region, with the Russian Defense Ministry confirming its destruction on February 27. The first tank was reportedly annihilated by the Piranha FPV drone.

Yan Gagin, an adviser to the head of Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), characterized the destroyed equipment as essentially an “empty tin can with a cannon,” alleging that sensitive technologies had been removed by the US before the tank was transferred to Kyiv.

In addition to the tanks, the Russian Defense Ministry has claimed to have eliminated over 490 Ukrainian troops and four infantry fighting vehicles, including three US-made Bradleys, within the past 24 hours.

Further, Moscow’s forces also reportedly destroyed an M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV), a specialized US-made vehicle designed for mine and explosives clearance.

The exact number of such vehicles provided to Ukraine remains unclear. Images circulating online depicted the M1150 ABV engulfed in smoke on a dirt road.

An M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV), ostensibly engaged in recovery efforts for the incapacitated Abrams tank, suffered damage from Russian gunfire and was subsequently annihilated.

File Image: Destroyed Abrams

The Abrams In Ukraine

The United States officially announced that it would supply 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine in January 2023, with the complete shipment of promised tanks reaching Ukraine by October 2023. However, these vehicles were not deployed on the front lines until February 2024.

Initially intending to provide Ukraine with the more advanced M1 A2 version, Washington ultimately opted for the inferior A1 model to expedite the delivery process.

The rationale behind this decision seemed to be to prevent sensitive and advanced technology from falling into adversaries’ hands while expediting the shipment process by transferring older tanks.

On the other hand, Moscow repeatedly said that Western arms deliveries would not alter the battlefield dynamics, asserting that any weaponry provided by Western nations to Ukraine would inevitably be destroyed.

Following the destruction of the second Abrams tank, Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for Russian President Vladimir Putin, on March 4, said that Putin was being briefed on the achievements of the Russian military at the frontline, which included the elimination of American Abrams tanks.

The destruction of US-made tanks also saw Russian officials and experts swiftly lauding the event as a perceived success for their narrative.

The head of the Bureau of Military-Political Analysis, Alexander Mikhailov, shared in an interview that the reported destruction of an American Abrams tank by the Russian army in the Avdiivka area would impact the image of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

File Image: Destroyed Abrams Tank

This development is noted to be disheartening for the armored combat vehicle manufacturer and the overall US military-industrial complex, highlighting the vulnerability of the nation’s weaponry, said Mikhailov.

Meanwhile, defense expert Peter Suciu pointed out that the M1 Abrams, along with the British Challenger 2 and German Leopard 2 MBTs, may have been excessively praised.

While these tanks are considered among the world’s best, the conflict in Ukraine has revealed their vulnerability to man-portable anti-tank weapons and remotely controlled drones. The argument was made that weapons designed to destroy tanks have outpaced the capabilities of these vehicles.

Nevertheless, the significance of the Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) in modern high-intensity land warfare remains paramount. The conflict in Ukraine has demonstrated that large-scale offensive operations are challenging without an adequate supply of MBTs.

Despite losses on both sides, these should be viewed as a testament to the centrality of armored platforms in mobile warfare, even in an era dominated by precision munitions and advanced drones.