US-supplied tanks aren't sufficient in a 'war of drones,' Ukrainian soldier told CNN

  • Ukraine lobbied hard to get tanks from the US last January.

  • But the armored vehicles have not provided major tactical gains for Ukraine.

  • In a "war of drones," tanks are the No. 1 target, a Ukrainian soldier told CNN.

Tanks supplied by the US are not proving helpful enough for Ukrainian soldiers amid a war that has been heavily reliant on drones.

In January 2023, after months of hard lobbying from Ukraine, the US agreed to send 31 M1A1 Abrams tanks to equip a tank battalion.

Military experts previously told Business Insider that the use cases for the tanks would be limited due to terrain conditions and the lack of tank-on-tank warfare, which is the Abrams' specialty.

More than a year after the US sent the tanks, at least eight of the armored vehicles have been reported lost or damaged and, according to US officials, Ukraine has had to pull back the tanks from the front line.

Ukrainian state media disputed the US report that the Abrams tanks were fully withdrawn but said soldiers were using them in limited cases.

A member of Ukraine's 47th Mechanized Brigade, who is identified as Joker, told CNN's chief international security correspondent Nick Paton Walsh the tanks alone are not enough to protect soldiers when Russia is bombarding them with drones.

"Its armor is not sufficient for this era. It doesn't protect the crew," Joker told CNN. "For real, today it's a war of drones. So now when the tank rolls out they always try to hit it."

One makeshift solution Ukrainian soldiers have had to rely on is armored plates on the vehicle, according to the CNN report.

Joker added that the tank ammunition Ukraine was given is only conducive for "direct tank to tank battle" and insufficient to take down structures.

"Once we fired 17 rounds into a house and it was still standing," he said.

A Ukrainian official said last year that Russia has a seven-to-one drone edge.

Read the original article on Business Insider