Additional Weapons for Ukraine as Europe and US make preparations for a long war

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III announced President Joe Biden’s approval for the transfer of $675 million worth of U.S. military capabilities to Ukraine, but the emphasis of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base, Germany is on providing long-term support to the nation in its fight against the Russian invasion.

Austin held the in-person meeting of the group and said that the more than 50 nations involved are keen to accelerate the efforts to help Ukraine.

Austin informed the group that the president Joe Biden had approved the latest tranche of U.S. assistance to Ukraine. It is the 20th withdrawal of equipment from U.S. stocks for Ukraine since August 2021.

“The latest package includes more , 105-millimeter howitzers, artillery ammunition and , Humvees, armored ambulances, anti-tank systems, small arms and more,” he said. “And since our last meeting in July, many allies and partners have come forward with their own important new deliveries of advanced radars, tanks, and armored personnel carriers.”

Austin and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley who is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with Oleksii Reznikov Ukrainian defense minister, and Lieutenant. Gen. Yevhen Moisiuk, Ukrainian deputy chief of defense, prior to the group’s meeting. The Ukrainians presented information on the current battle conditions in the country and their military requirements.

This is the fifth time the group has met, that first met at Ramstein in April. At the moment, Ukraine had stopped Russian attacks on Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. Kyiv.

“In late April, Russia shifted to massive artillery strikes against sovereign Ukrainian territory in the Donbas,” Austin said in his opening remarks. “And this contact group responded swiftly to the changing character of Russia’s war of choice.”

The United States committed unprecedented security assistance to Ukraine including Stinger anti-aircraft systems and armored personnel carriers. launchers for grenades Mi-17 helicopters body armor, as well as millions of rounds of small-arms ammunition.

The secretary highlighted the transfer of howitzers as an example of the assistance that has poured into Ukraine. “In April, the United States delivered our first batch of M-777 howitzers — introducing NATO-standard artillery pieces to Ukraine for the first time,” the secretary stated. “Today, the United States has delivered 126 of those howitzers. And along with countries around the world, we’ve increased the number of howitzer systems for Ukraine’s defenders by more than 18-fold.” This helped freeze the Russian offensive in the Donbas region.

Since then, further capabilities, including 26 long-range artillery systems and guided multiple launch rockets have arrived.

“All these capabilities have demonstrably helped Ukraine fight back against Russia’s aggression,” he said. “And they have enabled Ukraine to resist Russia’s ongoing onslaught. So we have come a long way by working together.”

But more needs to happen. Russia continues to bombard Ukrainian civilians and cities with missiles and artillery fire. But the nature of the conflict is shifting and Ukrainian forces have begun an offensive against Russia in the southern part of the country, the secretary said.

“They are integrating the capabilities that we all have provided to help themselves to fight and reclaim their sovereign territory,” Austin said. “Today, this contact group needs to position itself to sustain Ukraine’s brave defenders for the long haul.”

The world must give Ukraine the capabilities it needs to fight in the present, but it also needs the means and training to protect the country in the future and deter Russia. “It means moving urgently to innovate, and to push all of our defense industrial bases to provide Ukraine with the tools that it will need for the hard road ahead,” Austin said. “We’re here because we refuse to live in a world where big powers trample borders by force. Our support for Ukraine’s bedrock right to defend itself doesn’t waver based on any given clash.”

The conflict in Ukraine is changing, according to the secretary, “and so is the mission of this Contact Group.”

The secretary stated that the group should consider long-term aid to Ukraine. “We’ll work together to train Ukraine’s forces for the long haul,” the secretary declared. “We’ll work together to help integrate Ukraine’s capabilities and bolster its joint operations for the long haul. We’ll work together to upgrade our defense industrial bases to meet Ukraine’s requirements for the long haul. And we’ll work together for production and innovation to meet Ukraine’s self-defense needs for the long haul.”

Ukraine is making strides against a much more formidable adversary. “And every day, we see the resolve of the allies and partners worldwide who are helping Ukraine resist Russia’s illegal, imperial and indefensible war of conquest,” he said. “And we must evolve as the fight evolves.”

There have been significant contributions from many other nations. Britain has donated 2.3 billion pounds of equipment to Ukraine. Germany as well as Denmark have both announced significant aid to military. Poland — an important frontline state in the face of Russia — has transferred three battalions with 155 mm self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine.

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