The Kremlin has responded to widespread reports from Ukraine that Kiev has received its first deliveries of American M1 Abrams battle tanks. Ukrainian officials have hailed that the tanks will help their forces punch through stalemated front lines.
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said "they too will burn" - in reference to prior instances of Western tanks being taken out, such as German Leopards and UK Challenger 2 tanks.
"All this can in no way affect the essence of the special military operation, its outcome," Peskov explained. "There is no panacea, no single weapon that can change the balance of power on the battlefield."
Beginning this year, Washington had pledged 31 Abrams tanks to the Ukrainians. It's believed the first ten were transferred to Ukrainian forces as of Saturday. More are expected this fall.
According to more from Peskov, via Reuters:
"Abrams tanks are serious weapons, but remember what the president said about other tanks made in another country," Peskov said, referring to other Western tanks supplied to Kyiv, which include German-made Leopards and British Challengers.
The White House has also this month for the first time announced it will supply a "limited" amount of long-range ATACMS missile systems, with a range of up to 190 miles.
In early September, The Guardian wrote, "A battlefield video circulating on social media overnight appears to show the destruction of a British Challenger 2 in Ukraine, which would be the first time one of the tanks has been destroyed in combat,."
UK media subsequently made it clear that up to that point no Challenger 2 tank had ever been lost in battle due to enemy forces since it entered production and was first deployed in 1994 (the exception was a friendly fire incident in Iraq in 2003).
Destroyed Ukrainian Challenger 2 outside of Robotyne, most likely from the 82nd Air Assault Brigade. pic.twitter.com/KInjnmfs4F— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) September 5, 2023
Very controversially, the UK has been sending depleted uranium armor-piercing rounds to Kiev, in order to fire them from the Challenger II tanks. The UK Defense Ministry last spring admitted that it "does not monitor the locations from where DU rounds are fired by the AFU in Ukraine."