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The United States has sped up the delivery of the much-needed Abrams tanks to the war zone in Ukraine, according to the Pentagon.
The U.S. military announced Tuesday that it has expedited the process of sending the tanks to Ukraine in order to bolster the country's ability to defend itself against Russian-backed separatists.
U.S. Army Colonel Steven Warren said that two of the Abrams tanks were delivered to a Ukrainian port in the Black Sea on Monday. He said that the delivery was “expedited” and that the other tanks would follow soon.
The tanks, which are made by General Dynamics, are part of a wider military aid package for Ukraine. The U.S. has also provided Ukraine with anti-tank missiles and other equipment.
The U.S. has been providing military aid to Ukraine since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea. Since then, the conflict between the two countries has escalated, with the U.S. accusing Russia of sending troops and weapons to the region in order to support the separatists.
The delivery of the Abrams tanks is part of the U.S. effort to support Ukraine's fight against the separatists. The tanks are designed to be used in a defensive role, and are equipped with powerful 120mm cannons and machine guns.
The delivery of the tanks comes as the U.S. and other Western powers are pushing for a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Ukraine. The U.S. has also threatened further economic sanctions against Russia if it does not comply with international norms.
It is not clear how much the Abrams tanks will affect the balance of power in the region, but the U.S. hopes that the delivery of the tanks will help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression. The U.S. is also sending military advisors to Ukraine to help with training and logistics.