January 29, 2023

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The main gathering of countries that militarily support Ukraine is in Germany

Countries that militarily support Kiev will hold a meeting in Germany on Friday, from which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he awaits “strong decisions” such as sending heavy armored vehicles to help his country in key upcoming battles. Against Russia.

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Hours before this meeting at Ramstein’s American base, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Denmark announced significant new arms deliveries to Ukraine.

Washington will release $2.5 billion in new military aid, including 59 Bradley armored vehicles, in addition to the 50 light armored vehicles and 90 Stryker armored personnel carriers promised on January 6, the Pentagon said.

The US military will provide Ukraine with 53 mine-resistant armored vehicles (MRAP) and 350 M998 transport vehicles, the popular Humvee. The new tranche brings total U.S. military aid to Ukraine to $26.7 billion since the Russian invasion began on February 24.

But this new grant does not include heavy tanks such as the Abrams, which the US says is not yet ready to deliver to kyiv for maintenance and training reasons.

The United Kingdom has pledged to send Ukraine 600 additional Brimstone missiles, Denmark 19 French-made Caesar guns and Sweden’s Archer self-propelled guns.

Systems with a range several tens of kilometers less than claimed by the Ukrainians.

London has already pledged 14 Challenger 2 heavy tanks to Kyiv, and Poland says it is ready to deliver 14 German-made Panther 2 main battle tanks, leaving Ukraine far from the hundreds of vehicles it needs.

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“Strong Results”

Friday’s meeting was the third in a so-called “Rammstein” format since the conflict began. Defense ministers and senior military officers from fifty countries rallied around US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

“We are preparing for Ramstein tomorrow. We expect strong results. We expect strong military support from the United States,” Zelensky said in his Thursday night video address.

“Some countries” will send Panther 2 tanks to Ukraine, Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvidas Anusaskas said on Thursday, adding that “further information” would be released on Friday.

“You need German tanks, Finnish tanks, Danish tanks, French tanks, which means that Western Europe must now allocate more modern tanks to Ukraine so that it can simply defend itself,” implored Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Germany is under increasing pressure from many of its European neighbors to allow distribution of leopards. His new defense minister, Boris Pistorius, said on Thursday the answer “will be clear in the next few hours or tomorrow (Friday) morning”.

Speaking via video conference on the sidelines of the Davos Economic Forum in Switzerland, Mr. Zelensky scoffed at those who said, “I’ll supply the tanks if someone else does.”

In a clear signal to Germany, its president Olaf Scholz told members of the US Congress in Davos that his country would provide heavy tanks to Ukraine only if the US also sent them, a senior US official said.

“Tremble before Putin”

“Against thousands of tanks from Russia (…), the courage of our army and the motivation of the Ukrainian people are not enough”, Mr. Zelensky hammer.

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Shortly after, one of his advisers, Mikael Podoliak, called on Westerners to stop “trembling before Putin” and provide heavy armor to Ukraine.

Experts say modern, Western-designed heavy tanks will be a crucial advantage for Q in the fighting in eastern Ukraine, where Russia has resumed its offensive after suffering a severe setback this winter.

Ukrainian officials say missile systems with a range of more than 100 km are needed to attack Russian supply chains, particularly ammunition depots.

But Westerners fear that, despite Ukrainian assurances, Kyiv could use these weapons to strike deeper into Russian territory and to attack air and naval bases in Crimea, a peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.

On Thursday, the Kremlin sent a clear warning: the delivery of long-range weapons “would mean that the conflict would reach a new level”.