Defence Secretary: The West to deploy ‘more deadly aid’ to Ukraine

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – At a special donor conference that over 35 countries attended, including the United States, Britain’s defence secretary announced that western nations have agreed to supply armoured vehicles and long-range artillery to Ukraine.

The event’s organiser, Ben Wallace, stated there would be “more lethal aid going into Ukraine,” but that it wouldn’t include tanks or other more lethal weapons requested by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in the previous week.

He claimed that Ukraine required longer-range artillery to fight Russian strikes on its cities, such as Mariupol in the south, which has been bombarded with shelling.

The best antidote to it is other long-range artillery, he added after the meeting, so they would be seeking for and procuring more long-range artillery, primarily ammo.

Ukraine was also on the look out for certain types of armoured vehicles, not necessarily tanks, but certainly protection vehicles, and more anti-air, according to Wallace. As a result of this conference, all of this will be revealed.

The agreements to deliver artillery pieces, shells, and armoured vehicles are a step up from the defensive armament previously provided, according to Nato members.

NATO countries led by the United States, the United Kingdom, and Turkey had previously agreed to supply Javelin surface-to-air missiles, next-generation light anti-tank weapons (NLAWs), Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, and TB2 drones, all of which have aided in the deterrence of the Russian invasion over the past five weeks.

In the last fortnight, Zelenskiy has urged western nations for tanks, fighter jets, and powerful anti-missile and anti-aircraft armament so that his country’s soldiers might attempt to drive Russian troops out of the country.

At last week’s Nato summit, he asked for unrestricted military help, particularly asking for “1% of all your planes, 1% of your tanks” because Russia was employing “its entire arsenal against us.”

Western governments, on the other hand, have been wary of sending offensive weaponry, particularly fighter jets, for fear of inadvertently aggravating a nuclear-armed Russia and inviting reprisal.

More than 35 countries, including European nations, New Zealand,  Japan and South Korea attended the donor conference, although their particular commitments were not immediately evident.

Some countries want to supply Ukraine with their own inventories, while others have offered money to help Kyiv purchase its own weapons. Whether they need to change the type of aid they give, Wallace added, which of course they would do now as the tactics on the ground changed.

After an unexpectedly messy assault on the country, Russia abandoned its attempt to conquer Kyiv this week. Instead, it has refocused its efforts on conquering Mariupol, Ukraine’s southern port city, and gaining momentum in the eastern Donbas region against Ukraine’s main fighting force.

Ukraine’s most visible military challenge is its inability to repel Russian shelling in Mariupol, which has resulted in numerous civilian casualties. Ukraine says that 5,000 people have been murdered in the city, however due to the continuous fighting, this statistic cannot be verified.

According to the UK Ministry of Defence, the countries present also agreed to deliver coastal defence systems, which might assist in safeguarding the southern city of Odessa and prevent Russian vessels from launching cruise missiles in the Black Sea.

Several western countries have been reducing their own inventories in order to provide Ukraine, but David Williams, the MoD’s permanent secretary, said British armaments firms producing NLAWs and other war-related equipment had been urged to ramp up production to replace what had been depleted.

Kourtney Spak

Kourtney Spak is an american journalist and political commentator. Her journalism career focuses on American domestic policy and also foreign affairs. She also writes on environment, climate change and economy.