KYIV, Ukraine — The United States and an unofficial alliance of several NATO countries are operating an air bridge to transport military aid to Ukraine, flying in arms and ammunition that Kyiv has requested to reduce at least one decision Russia’s military advantage and prevent a possible invasion.
Eight US cargo planes have landed in Kyiv since January 22, after the US President
approved new $200 million in military aid to Ukraine, with more planned in the coming days. North Atlantic Treaty Organization members, which include the UK and the Baltic states, have also sent planes loaded with weapons, with Poland and the Czech Republic expected to deliver soon.
Until Russia’s Current EscalationTurkey and the US are the only countries willing to risk Moscow by supplying Ukraine with weapons. Turkey has provided Kyiv with a fleet of TB2 Bayraktar armed drones that Ukraine has used on the battlefield in the Russian-controlled Donbas region in the east of the country. Together with American, British, Canadian and Polish trainers, they have long trained the Ukrainian armed forces in modern warfare.
Moscow has an overwhelming advantage in air, sea, artillery, missiles and manpower that the latest Western supplies are difficult to eliminate. However, officials from several countries have said that their concerted efforts to provide military support signal Western resolve and further complicate Russia’s costs and options for invasion.
Ukraine is not a member of NATO. Russia – while denying that it plans a military invasion – has said it will not accept Ukraine’s entry into the Western alliance. With more than 100,000 forces concentrated on the Ukrainian borderUS officials say Russia has the potential to launch an imminent invasion if it decides to do so.
According to US and Ukrainian officials. The UK has supplied thousands of anti-submarine missiles, and the Baltic states such as Latvia and Lithuania have sent US-made Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.
Stepan Poltorak, who served as Ukraine’s defense minister from 2014 to 2019, said that Ukraine needs a close and consistent relationship in defense development and procurement with the US and NATO, rather than partial deliveries. . Existing stopgap shipments do not include complex weapon systems, with time training required for new operators.
The latest US airlift arrived in Kyiv on Saturday. The US has sent about 650 tons of weapons and equipment to Ukraine since January 22. Since Russia occupied Crimea and occupied the eastern Donbas regions in 2014, the US has provided $2.7 billion in military aid to Ukraine.
“These deliveries are ongoing,” a Pentagon spokesman said. “The United States is identifying additional equipment that is held in a Department of Defense inventory.”
Last month, the US administration informed Congress that it planned to deliver five Russian-made Mi-17 transport helicopters to Ukraine. The Afghan military used helicopters, which are currently in Ukraine for service. A US official said the administration was waiting for the end of the approval procedures.
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A large portion of US shipments to Kyiv are carried with ammunition of various calibers, including high-intensity grenades, high-caliber rifle ammunition, armor-piercing detectors, hundreds of thousands of anti-tank rounds and an excess of 7.62 caliber Ammunition for Soviet-designed small arms are being widely used in the Ukrainian army.
Ukraine is suffering from a severe ammunition shortage, a US official said. Several Ukrainian arsenals were destroyed in accidents that Kyiv blamed on Russian sabotage after 2014. Russia’s secret service was later implicated in an attack on its arsenals. Check supplies to Ukraine. Ukraine’s only munitions factory, in the city of Luhansk, has been in an area under Russian control since 2014.
An expanding group of foreign partners is forming to resupply Kyiv stores. Last month, the UK sent about 2,000 short-range NLAW anti-tank missiles to Kyiv. Ukrainian forces began exercises with NLAW missiles near the city of Chernihiv, northeast of Kyiv, this weekend.
“Ukraine has every right to defend its borders, and this new aid package will further strengthen its ability to do so,” said Ben Wallace, UK foreign secretary for defense. “Let me be clear, this support is for short-range and obvious defensive weapon capabilities. They are not strategic weapons and pose no threat to Russia.”
Ukraine and the UK are also negotiating the purchase of two refurbished Royal Navy minesweepers and are discussing the production of frigates and the joint development of eight missile warships. .
In 2019, Turkey began supplying Ukraine with Bayraktar TB2 drones, which Ukraine used to destroy a grenade cannon in the Russian-controlled Donbas region in October. visit to Kyiv last week, the president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan officially agreed with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky for the production of Turkish drones in Ukraine. Construction of a production facility outside Kyiv is underway.
Mr Zelensky said that the Turkish drones represented “an increase in Ukraine’s self-defence capabilities.”
A major Russian rival, Poland has pledged to supply Ukraine with drones and a short-range mobile air defense system, Piorun, designed to hit low-flying aircraft, such as drones. helicopter flight, at altitudes up to 13,000 feet. . Mariusz Błaszczak, Polish Defense Minister, said Poland is supplying Ukraine with its latest weapons.
During a December visit to Washington, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov brought with him a wish list of anti-missile systems at the top, according to Ukrainian and US officials, showing that Ukraine clearly understands its ability to attack Russian long-range.
Andriy Zagorodnyuk, a former defense minister of Ukraine who now works at the Center for Defense Strategy, a Kyiv think tank, said: “We believe that the chances of an attack by enemy forces are very high.
Zagorodnyuk said Ukraine would use “small group tactics that make Russia’s aviation advantage less relevant.” He listed a number of items that Ukraine would find useful, including sniper rifles, night vision goggles, combat and reconnaissance drones as well as counter and counterattack radar systems.
The issue of providing lethal aid to Ukraine is at least as old as In 2014 Russia occupied Crimea and invaded Donbas.
The current Russian military build-up has inspired some governments to change their policy of providing such aid, but others have balked, especially those with trade and energy ties. important to Russia.
Feeling guilty about the invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II, Germany refused to provide military aid to Ukraine beyond 5,000 helmets and medical supplies. Berlin also refused to allow Estonia to send Ukraine a D-30 artillery aircraft of German origin, which can hit targets at a distance of 12 km.
Other countries have shared non-lethal aid, as Canada did on Friday, sending Ukraine a large amount of aircraft equipment, including surveillance and detection equipment, according to Canada’s Ministry of Defense.
Washington’s own stance on the issue has evolved, from President Barack Obama’s opposition to sending lethal aid to Ukraine, to President Barack Obama’s opposition to sending lethal aid to Ukraine.
Donald TrumpPresident Joe Biden’s decision to supply Javelin anti-ship weapons in 2019 last month approved a new $200 million Ukrainian military aid package, paving the way for existing air shipments.
Mr. Reznikov, Ukraine’s Defense Minister, announced the arrival of a shipment last week. On Twitter, he posted a photo from the plane’s cargo hold, which depicts weapons and equipment stored in large gray containers. “Most importantly – this is not the end,” Reznikov wrote. “To be continued.”
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https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-led-air-bridge-of-weapons-to-ukraine-seeks-to-shore-up-kyivs-ability-to-resist-russia-11644140852 US-directed air bridge brings weapons to Ukraine Seeks to strengthen Kyiv’s ability to resist Russia