Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said his government expected “strong decisions” from defense leaders from NATO and other countries meeting on Friday to discuss Ukraine’s ability to confront Russian forces with modern main battle tanks.
A group of 11 NATO countries has pledged new military aid to Ukraine. ahead of a nuclear weapons meeting for Kiev in Germany on Friday. Aid from countries such as Britain, Estonia, Latvia and Poland includes dozens of air defense systems, S-60 anti-aircraft guns, machine guns and training, a statement said.
The US has announced $2.5 billion in new weapons and ammunition for Ukraine. The package includes 90 Stryker armored personnel carriers, another 59 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, Avenger air defense systems, and large and small munitions, according to a Pentagon statement.
CIA Director William Burns recently secretly traveled to Ukraine’s capital to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. A US official told Reuters on Thursday. “Director Burns traveled to Kiev where he met with Ukrainian intelligence officials and President Zelensky and strengthened our continued support for Ukraine and its defense against Russian aggression,” said the US official, who declined to be identified or say when the visit took place. .
Britain plans to send 600 sulfur missiles to Ukraine to support the country in its fight against Russia. Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace announced this. Meeting with other defense ministers at the Tapa army base in Estonia, Wallace outlined a previously announced package of military aid for Ukraine, including sending Challenger tanks. “We are in it for the long haul,” he said.
The Swedish government has announced a new package of military aid to Ukraine, including armored infantry fighting vehicles and the Archer artillery system. Poland said it was sending S-60 anti-aircraft guns with 70,000 rounds and was willing to donate a company of German-made Leopard 2 tanks, “awaiting (a) wider coalition” of Leopard donors.
Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas has said several countries will announce sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine at Friday’s meeting of defense ministers at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. The total number of armored vehicles pledged at tomorrow’s meeting would run into the hundreds, Anušauskas told Reuters.
Estonia’s Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur has announced that his country will send military equipment worth €113 million to Ukraine. in the latest support package.
Denmark has announced that it will donate 19 French-made Caesar howitzer artillery systems to Kyiv.
US and German defense ministers met on Thursday as Berlin came under pressure to allow the transfer of German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine. The meeting between Lloyd Austin and Boris Pistorius came as a German government source told Reuters that Berlin would allow Leopard tanks to be sent to Ukraine to help its defense against Russia if the US agreed to send its own tanks. But U.S. officials have insisted publicly and privately that Washington has no plans to send U.S.-made tanks to Ukraine for now, arguing that it would be too difficult for Kiev to maintain and that it would be a huge logistical effort. just to keep them running.
A spokesman for the German government has said it has not yet received a request from any country for permission to re-export German-made tanks to Ukraine. Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has indicated it could send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine as part of a wider coalition even without Germany’s approval. “Consent is of secondary importance here, we will get this consent quickly, or we will do what is necessary ourselves,” Morawiecki said.
The Kremlin has said Russia will achieve its goals in Ukraine “one way or another” and the sooner Kiev accepts its demands, the sooner the conflict will end. The Kremlin has repeatedly said Russia is ready to halt military operations if Ukraine complies with its demands, but Moscow has not publicly disclosed details of its negotiating position or what it requires from Kiev to end hostilities.
The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi, says he is concerned that the world is becoming complacent about the dangers posed by the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Speaking to reporters in Kiev, Grossi said a nuclear accident could happen any day and reiterated that the situation at the plant was very precarious.
Moldova has requested air defense systems from its allies with the aim of bolstering its capabilities as the war in neighboring Ukraine continues. said its president, Maia Sandu. Moldova’s spy chief, Alexandru Musteata, last month warned of a “very high” risk of a new Russian offensive in the east of his country, saying Moscow is still seeking a land corridor through Ukraine to Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria.
A Swedish court has sentenced two brothers to 10 years in prison for spying for Russia and its military intelligence agency GRU. Iranian-born Peyman Kia, 42, was sentenced to life in prison, while his younger brother, Payam Kia, was sentenced to nine years and ten months.