More military firepower pledged to Ukraine - Dispatch Weekly

January 20, 2023 - Reading time: 4 minutes

The request for additional weapons to be sent to Ukraine by President Volodymyr Zelensky has received more responses from US and European countries.

According to the US, a shipment containing armoured vehicles and air defence equipment totaling $2.5 billion (£2 billion) will be supplied.

Numerous European countries made further pledges of their own, with the UK promising Kyiv hundreds of missiles.

The declarations come before a crucial meeting where 50 nations are expected to coordinate the supply of armaments on Friday, which is slated to take place in Germany.

Representatives from 11 countries met on Thursday at an army camp in Estonia to explore a number of new initiatives to aid Ukraine in regaining lost ground and thwarting any further Russian advances.

The UK, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Czech Republic, Estonia, the Netherlands, and Slovakia were among the nine nations that pledged to provide greater assistance.

The following packages were revealed in a joint statement:

UK – 600 Brimstone missiles
Denmark – 19 French-made Caesar self-propelled howitzers
Estonia – howitzers, ammunition, support vehicles and anti-tank grenade launchers
Latvia – Stinger air-defence systems, two helicopters, and drones
Lithuania – anti-aircraft guns and two helicopters
Poland – S-60 anti-aircraft guns with 70,000 pieces of ammunition
Czech Republic – produce further large calibre ammunition, howitzers and APCs

On Friday, the Netherlands will present its assistance plan.

Speaking during his visit to Estonia, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “In 2023, it is time to turn the momentum that the Ukrainians have achieved in pushing back Russia into gains and… push them back out of Ukraine and to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty, which is their right under international law.”

Later on Thursday, fresh US assistance was announced. Despite Ukrainian hopes, no offer of tanks was included.

However, the Pentagon did guarantee Kiev an additional 59 Bradley armoured cars, 90 Stryker personnel carriers, and Avenger air defence systems, in addition to other large and small weapons.

Recent airstrikes, it claimed, had shown “the destructive impact of Russia’s ruthless campaign in Ukraine,” but the freshly pledged armaments will help thwart them, it added.

According to a statement, the US has provided Ukraine with security aid totaling more over $26.7 billion since Moscow’s full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022.

The Ukraine Defence Group, a group of important allies led by the US, will meet on Friday to discuss escalating military assistance at the Ramstein air base in Germany.

President Zelensky stated that he anticipated “strong decisions” regarding additional arms shipments, including a “powerful military support package” from the US, to be made at that meeting.

The discussion will probably centre on whether to send heavy tanks and, more importantly, who will supply them. This question is still unresolved despite the Western allies’ Thursday pledges of billions of dollars in new weapons.

Ukraine is requesting that Leopard tanks built in Germany be deployed to the front lines.

Olaf Scholz, the chancellor of Germany, is under increasing internal and international pressure to provide them or, at the very least, to sanction their delivery by third countries.

Poland and Finland have both committed to sending their Leopards, but they must first obtain Germany’s approval as the producing nation in order to do so.

Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister of Poland, expressed his “moderate pessimism” on Germany’s decision to allow the re-export of Leopards to Ukraine.

Additionally, President Zelensky addressed Germany’s resistance.

“Now we are waiting for a decision from one European capital that will activate the prepared chains of co-operation on tanks,” he said on Thursday evening.

According to a government source in Berlin, no country has yet requested to re-export its tanks.

The UK was the first country to offer Ukraine tanks when it pledged to deliver 14 Challenger 2s from the British army.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.