Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his government expects “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 a range of new military aid to Ukraine. before an important arms meeting for Kyiv in Germany on Friday. Aid from countries like Britain, Estonia, Latvia and Poland will include dozens of Stinger air defense systems, S-60 anti-aircraft guns, machine guns and training, according to a statement.
The US has announced new weapons and ammunition worth $2.5 billion for Ukraine. The package includes 90 Stryker armored personnel carriers, another 59 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, Avenger air defense systems, and large and small ammunition, according to a Pentagon statement.
CIA Director William Burns recently secretly traveled to the Ukrainian capital to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. a US official told Portal on Thursday. “Director Burns traveled to Kyiv, where he met with fellow Ukrainian intelligence officers as well as President Zelenskyy and reiterated our continued support for Ukraine and its defense against Russian aggression,” said the US official, who declined to be named or given to make at the time of the visit.
Britain plans to send 600 Brimstone missiles to Ukraine to help the country fight Russia. This was announced by Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace. At a meeting with other defense ministers at the Tapa military base in Estonia, Wallace outlined a previously announced package of military support to Ukraine, including the delivery of Challenger tanks. “We’re in it for the long haul,” he said.
The Swedish government announced a new military aid package to Ukraine that will include armored infantry fighting vehicles and the Archer artillery system. Poland said it was sending S-60 anti-aircraft guns with 70,000 rounds of ammunition and was willing to donate a company of German-made Leopard 2 tanks “anticipating (a) broader coalition” of Leopard donors.
Lithuania’s Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas said several countries would announce sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine at the defense ministers’ meeting on Friday at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. The total number of armored vehicles pledged at tomorrow’s meeting would be in the hundreds, Anušauskas told Portal.
Estonia’s Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur announced that his country will send military equipment worth 113 million euros to Ukraine in its latest support package.
Denmark announced that it would donate 19 French-made Caesar howitzer artillery systems to Kyiv.
US and German defense ministers met on Thursday as Berlin faces pressure to allow German-made Leopard tanks to be transferred to Ukraine. The meeting between Lloyd Austin and Boris Pistorius came as a German government source told Portal that Berlin would allow Leopard tanks to be sent to Ukraine to help in its defenses against Russia if the US agreed to launch its own to send tanks. But US officials have publicly and privately insisted that Washington has no plans to send US-made tanks to Ukraine for now, arguing that servicing them would be too difficult and a huge logistical hassle would be required to just walk.
A German government spokesman said there had not yet been a request from any country for permission to re-export German-made tanks to Ukraine. Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has signaled that it could send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine as part of a larger coalition without Germany’s consent. “Consents are secondary here, we will either obtain these consents quickly or do what is necessary ourselves,” said Morawiecki.
The Kremlin has said Russia will achieve its goals in Ukraine “one way or another” and that the sooner Kyiv accepts its demands, the sooner the conflict will end. The Kremlin has repeatedly said Russia is ready to halt military operations if Ukraine meets its demands, but Moscow has not publicly spelled out details of its negotiating position or what it is asking Kyiv to do to end hostilities.
The head of the UN nuclear regulator, Rafael Grossi, says he is concerned the world is becoming complacent about the dangers posed by the Russian-controlled Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. Grossi told reporters in Kyiv that a nuclear accident could happen any day, reiterating that the situation at the plant was very precarious.
Moldova has requested air defense systems from its allies to bolster its capabilities as the war in neighboring Ukraine rages on. 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 and said Moscow is still looking to secure a land corridor through Ukraine into 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, the GRU. Iranian-born Peyman Kia, 42, was sentenced to life in prison, while his younger brother Payam Kia was sentenced to nine years and 10 months.