Ukraine: Zelensky called on allies to “speed up” arms deliveries
The Ukrainian president asked, in particular, Western countries to provide tanks and long-range missiles to “stop evil”.
VSThis could be a turning point in the war in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that there is “no other solution” other than the West sending heavy tanks to his country, while the Kyiv allies did not decide anything during a meeting in Ramstein (Germany). “Yes, we still have to fight for the supply of modern tanks, but every day we are making it clearer and clearer that there is no other solution than making decisions about tanks,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening video address.
The Ukrainian president also thanked the United States on Friday, Kyiv’s main backer against the Russian invasion, for a new tranche of $2.5 billion in military assistance, including hundreds of armored vehicles. “Thank you for providing Ukraine with another strong defense support package,” he said on Twitter. The weapons provided in this new package, which does not include the Abrams heavy tank, “are an important aid in our fight against the aggressor”, he emphasized.
Thank you @POTUS to provide ���� another robust $2.5 billion defense support package. The Stryker IFV, the additional Bradley APC, the Avenger air defense system are important aids in our fight against the aggressor. Thank you ���� people for the unwavering leadership support!
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) January 20, 2023
“Yes, we still have to fight for the supply of modern tanks, but every day we make it clear that there is no other solution” other than supplying them to Ukraine, he said. – he declared Friday evening from Kyiv in a video message, at the end of a meeting at the American base Ramstein, in Germany, about fifty countries intended to coordinate military assistance against the Russian invasion. Things could indeed change in the coming weeks, the United States hinted. “We have an opportunity here between now and spring” to deliver Western tanks as Ukraine begins its “counterattack”, said US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
His Polish counterpart Mariusz Blaszczak said he was “confident” that the allies would eventually come together in a coalition to deliver German Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Until then, various additional military aid packages promised by several countries will offer Ukrainian forces the “capacity they need to achieve success” on the ground, the Pentagon chief said.
The United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, and even Denmark announced substantial new weapons shipments hours before the meeting. The Dutch government then announced late on Friday that it would help Ukraine equip itself with a Patriot air defense system, in this case “two launchers and a missile” to help defend against Russian missile attacks on its cities and infrastructure. .
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Kremlin says Western tanks ‘will not change anything’
The Kremlin said on Friday that the delivery of tanks to Ukraine “will not change anything” in the situation on the ground, accusing Western countries of maintaining an “illusion” of a possible military victory for Kyiv. “Such (tank) deliveries cannot fundamentally change anything, they will create new problems for Ukraine,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, citing the cost of “maintenance and repair” of damaged equipment.
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“The importance of such weapons deliveries or their ability to change things should not be overstated. […] It will change nothing regarding the progress of the Russian side in achieving its goals,” he added. The Kremlin spokesman also accused Western countries of “clinging to dramatic illusions about the possibility of a Ukrainian victory on the battlefield”.
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“We see the direct and indirect involvement of NATO countries (in the conflict), we hear the declarations, we see the desire to get involved increasingly predominate,” he continued. Dmitry Peskov also felt that relations between Moscow and Washington had now reached a “historically low level”, adding that he saw no “hope for improvement anytime soon”.