The US urged allies to increase military support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian forces: “History is watching us”
The US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, warned during the Contact Group meeting in Ramstein that this is a “decisive” moment to stop the invasion of Putin. The Pentagon announced a new $2.5 billion aid package for kyiv the day before
Lloyd Austin with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov during a meeting at the Ramstein airbase in Germany. (REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay)
The Western allies must step up their military aid to Ukraine at a crucial time in their fight against Russian forces, the US Secretary of Defense urged on Friday, Lloyd Austin.
“We have to go even deeper, this is a defining moment for Ukraine,” Austin said at the opening of a meeting of Ukraine's allies at the base view of Ramstein, Germany. “The Ukrainian people are looking at us, the Kremlin is looking at us, and history is looking at us,” he added.
For his part, the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky, insisted today that his country needs tanks, since with the anti-aircraft systems is not enough to defend itself against Russia, in a virtual intervention before Contact Group for Ukraine focused on kyiv's demand for armored vehicles Leopard b>.
Zelensky implored the Western allies to “speed up” arms deliveries as his nation faces attack from Russia.
“We greatly appreciate all the support received so far and their anti-aircraft defense systems, but we need artillery and tanks,” said the Ukrainian leader, at the opening of the sessions of the meeting held by that group at the US base in Ramstein (Germany).
The president, in a videoconference message, urged “not to negotiate on the quantities of tanks, but rather to launch this important delivery that will stop the evil.”
Zelensky spoke via video link during the Contact Group meeting in Ramstein (REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay)
The Pentagon He had already announced on Thursday a new military aid package for Ukraine worth 2.5 billion dollars, with armored cars and anti-aircraft defenses, but without Abrams tanks which Germany asked it to contribute.
In a statement, the US Department of Defense said it would send kyiv 59 Bradley combat tanks, with 590 TOW anti-tank missiles and 295,000 pieces of 25-mm ammunition.
It will also allocate to Ukraine eight anti-aircraft defense systems Avenger, 350 all-terrain Humvees, 20,000 pieces of 155-millimeter artillery and 90 Stryker armored vehicles with 20 demining devices, among others.
A Ukrainian serviceman prepares an anti-tank guided missile launcher on a front line, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the Donetsk region
The package also includes HARM missiles, of the air-to-surface type, used to destroy anti-aircraft defense systems equipped with radars; 2,000 anti-armor rockets, and 3 million small arms ammunition.
The Pentagon indicated that the latest airstrikes against “crucial” infrastructure in Ukraine demonstrate “the devastating impact of Russia's brutal war.”
It stressed that the 59 Bradleys will join the fifty-nine which it announced on January 6 and that together with the 90 Strykers will mean two armored brigades for Ukraine
The Pentagon assured this Thursday that it makes no sense for the US to now send Abrams tanks to Ukraine, as Germany has requested in exchange for providing the battle tanksLeopard 2.
Deputy Press Secretary for the US Department of Defense, Sabrina Singh, said in a press conference that it is a matter of maintenance.
Abrams “is a tank that requires jet fuel, while the Leopards and Challengers (These latest British tanks that are going to go to Ukraine) have a different engine, they need diesel, they're a bit easier to maintain,” Singh said.
US Secretary of Defense , Lloyd Austin, is visiting Germany, where he met this Thursday with his German counterpart, Boris Pistorius, who assured that his country will continue to support Ukraine with its partners so that it can defend itself, but did not mention the issue of the contribution of Leopard 2 tanks.
The German line so far has been to coordinate the shipment with the allies and, according to German media reports, the chancellorOlaf Scholz told US President Joe Biden that his country would only send Leopard 2 if the US also sends Abrams tanks.
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Singh recalled that the US has already provided Ukraine with Bradley Fighting Tanks and will continue to send equipment to kyiv.< /p>
Although similar to a tank, Bradleys are main battle tanks with lighter armor and a smaller gun, typically 25mm compared to the 120mm Abrams.< /p>
Despite the fact that the US has numerous armored cars, the Abrams is the only proper tank: it is larger in size, has a movable turret equipped with a large gun, and has traction caterpillar.
Since the Russian invasion began on February 24, the US has sent Ukraine more than $26.7 billion in military aid.
(With information from EFE)
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