The United States and its allies pledged to continue supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia 2022-04-26 18:34:21

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RAMSTEEN AIR BASE, Germany – Top US defense officials on Tuesday urged more countries to provide more weapons at a faster pace to Ukraine as it prepares for the next stage of its defense against Russian aggressors.

“We have to move at war speed,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin He told reporters after a day-long meeting here with delegations from more than 40 countries who gathered to hear the latest military assessments of the conflict and coordinate their efforts to help Ukraine. “Today’s briefings made clear why the coming weeks will be so critical for Ukraine,” Austin said.

Among those present at the closed-door meeting were senior defense officials from NATO and non-NATO countries, who were shown detailed maps of Russian forces now stationed in southern and eastern Ukraine, where the US military estimates they hope to encircle and bombard them with long range. Air force and artillery positions held along the line of contact by up to half of the Ukrainian army.

Among the mentors was General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Air Force General Todd D. Walters, the top US military officer in Europe. “Time is not on Ukraine’s side,” Milley said in comments to the group provided to reporters traveling with him. “The outcome of this battle, here, today, depends on the people in this room.”

US officials say the looming ground battle is a critical stage in Ukraine

The Kremlin this week accused the United States of waging a proxy war with Russia, and officials in Moscow raised the specter of potentially dire consequences. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that there are “serious” risks of a nuclear war over Ukraine. “It’s real. It shouldn’t be underestimated,” he said in an interview on state television.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby criticized the warning on Tuesday and said the US nuclear deterrent stance had not changed. “It is clearly unhelpful,” Kirby said of Lavrov’s comments. “A nuclear war cannot be won and should not be fought,” he said.

A Ukrainian delegation that attended the meeting in Germany headed by Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov thanked the donors and called for more artillery and weapons to repel the Russian bombing and stop their advance on the ground. “We need weapons,” Reznikov tweeted after the meeting. “Modern weapons. A large number of modern heavy weapons.

Austin called for continued efforts to protect Ukraine, telling reporters that Tuesday’s meeting would develop into a monthly discussion to improve cooperation, transparency and understanding of what was needed. He said the Ukrainian military needed to be strengthened “in the long term”, and it had to be “done right”.

Austin also talked about what efforts to help Ukraine would take from our defense industrial bases. This means dealing with the massive demand we face for munitions and weapons platforms,” he said, raising in some cases questions about “meeting our requirements and those of our allies and partners.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on April 26 that Germany’s pledge to deliver 50 Cheetah anti-aircraft systems would provide “real capability” to Ukraine. (Video: AP)

Since the start of the Russian invasion, the United States has sent 1,400 Stinger, a Raytheon MANPADS, to Ukraine, and the Defense and State Departments have scanned the arsenals of other countries that have bought it for more. . In an earnings call on Tuesday, Raytheon CEO, Gregory J. Hayes, the closet is almost bare.

The Stingers first entered U.S. service in 1981, and were not on the U.S. military procurement list for a number of years, with the entire production line shutting down. Hayes said many of the parts needed to make it are no longer available, and some of the system will have to be redesigned.

A US defense official spoke of efforts that began last fall to assess Ukraine’s air defense capabilities and position its forces to use the best advanced weapons and tactics against a larger opposing force. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity under rules set by the Defense Ministry, said Ukrainian Stinger operators are constantly being trained in Germany.

Outside the Ukraine meeting, US and foreign officials explained the changes brought about by the Russian invasion. Finnish Brigadier General. General Sami Nurmi, whose country shares a border of more than 800 miles with Russia, explained that, prior to the invasion, only 23 percent of Finns preferred to join NATO. He said the Russian action “changed the rules of the game”, Supporters of NATO rose to 68 percent, with Finland, a country of 5.5 million people, so far contributing $30 million in equipment to Ukraine.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Tuesday the United States would not oppose Ukraine becoming “neutral” and sworn in as a NATO member as part of a peace deal with Russia, but said there was “no indication yet” that Russian President Vladimir Putin was serious. About “meaningful negotiations”.

Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken said on April 26 that there were no indications that Russian President Vladimir Putin was serious about diplomacy to end the Ukraine war. (Video: Reuters)

The US defense official described a wealth of information the US military has obtained about Russian “tactics and actions” by watching “how they performed in combat” since the invasion on February 24. “We call it free chicken,” the official said. What would take years and years for the intelligence community to discover [about] How they do things, we get freedom every day, “allowing the military” to create profiles that help us for years and years. “

A Belarusian battalion is fighting in Ukraine for the freedom of the two countries

Austin and Millie both addressed Austin’s comments, after his Sunday trip to Kyiv with Blinkin, that the United States hoped the war in Ukraine would make a militarily “weak” Russia.

“We’ve been very clear from the start,” Austin said at his press conference. We want to make it more difficult for Russia to threaten its neighbors. He said that in the 62 days since the invasion began, Russian ground forces have been affected “very significantly” with significant casualties, depletion of stocks and loss of equipment, including The Moskva River sank this monththe flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, with a Ukrainian missile attack.

He said Russia would have difficulty reconfiguring its forces due to Western sanctions and trade restrictions.

At the end of the day, Milley said in an interview with CNN, that achieving the goal of a healthy and free Ukraine would “include a weak Russia, strengthen NATO… and unite the West.”

The US Department of Defense (Pentagon) said Tuesday that it is monitoring reports of explosions in… The breakaway republic of Transnistria in Moldovaa region bordering Ukraine, after the explosions prompted the President of Moldova to convene a meeting of the country’s Security Council.

A Russian commander said last week that Moscow aims to create a corridor through southern Ukraine that would create a land link to the pro-Russian enclave, sparking fears that the invasion could extend into Moldova. Austin said the United States was still looking into the attacks on a wireless tower and security headquarters.

The talks in Germany took place ahead of a rare meeting in Moscow between UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Putin and Lavrov – a meeting that raised doubts about the possibility of peace talks being successful in the near term.

“I had a very frank discussion with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and it is clear that there are two different positions on what is happening in Ukraine,” Guterres told a news conference after the meeting.

A UN statement said Putin had agreed in principle to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to facilitate the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal iron and steel plant in Mariupol, the besieged Ukrainian port city. Putin said he did not order additional attacks on the factory, where the city’s last defenders are holed up and civilians are sheltering.

In Mariupol, echoes of history, utter destruction and the last stand

The latest wave of aid to Ukraine, following President Biden’s announcement last week of large new shipments of heavy artillery and armed drones, includes armored vehicles from Canada and additional anti-aircraft capabilities from Britain. Germany announced Tuesday that it will send 50 Cheetah self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, which fire 35mm shells from a tracked armored chassis resembling a tank.

The new German contribution, announced here by Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, came as questions about sending weapons to Ukraine have fractured Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition government in recent weeks, with support mounting for equipment deliveries.

Schulz said he cannot provide supplies from German army stocks, but the government is accused of it Heavy Weapon Purification From the list of the German arms industry of what was available in Kyiv. Lambrecht acknowledged the criticism but said, “The numbers speak a different language.”

“It’s important to me that we continue to stand together here and not allow ourselves to be separated,” she said.

Germany also announced Tuesday that it hopes to find an alternative to Russian oil in the “coming days”, after earlier reneging on the embargo imposed on the European Union, which escalated economic pressures on Moscow.

After hesitation, Germany gave the green light to some heavy weapons to Ukraine

The inclusion of non-NATO nations in the meeting here, including Kenya, Tunisia and Japan, among others, was part of an effort to provide substantive and symbolic support to Ukraine outside of Europe and the Alliance. Several other countries, such as Israel and Qatar, had representatives at the table, although they were not on the official list of attendees.

While welcoming delegates to what he described as a “historic” gathering, Austin said that “the Ukrainian resistance brought inspiration to the free world and greater resolve to NATO.” Putin said, “Never imagined that the world would rally behind Ukraine so quickly and with confidence.”

Lamott, Cadell and Hudson report from Washington. Loveday Maurice in Berlin, Paulina Villegas in Mexico City, and Marie Ilyushina in Riga, Latvia contributed to this report.

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