May 16, 2022

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Heavy weapons for Ukraine and the United States accelerate: “Putin must be weakened”

Weapons and more weapons. Tanks, armored vehicles, armored rocket launchers, drones, 155 US-made howitzers, shells for the ex-Soviet 155 and 152, Javelin and Stinger surface-to-air anti-tank missile launchers. The United States and Great Britain are at the forefront of increasing military supplies, especially after the visit of the US Secretary of State and Defense to Kyiv, Anthony Blinken and Lloyd Austin, which was conducted in strict secrecy and followed by a press conference in the same utmost secrecy. Polish site.

“Our idea is that the Ukrainians want to win the war and we want to help them win,” Austin attacks. The nature of the conflict in Ukraine has changed since Russia withdrew from the forested areas in the north and focused on the industrial heartland of the east in the Donbass. Needs have changed. Frictional warfare between fortified lines required more tanks and heavy artillery. And this is what the Americans, British and NATO allies, especially Eastern Europe bordering Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, decided to present to Kyiv.

International Support
But the aid strategy is also changing and this was discussed in three hours of conversations with Zelensky. It was no longer a question of donating arms, but allocating money to buy what was needed and possibly repay supplies that had already been sent to allies. Money to buy weapons, not weapons. Because, according to the New York Times, in addition to the 184 thousand bullets for 155-mm howitzers that Zelensky promised, 182 thousand of them should be purchased for 152 Soviet-made howitzers, through American companies outsourcing production to European factories. Sometimes it is better to equip Ukrainians with weapons they already know, inherited from the Soviet Union, even if, in the words of Kyiv’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, “It took longer for our partners to decide to send us weapons. , which needs our soldiers to learn how to use it.” Austin is convinced that the Ukrainians “can win the war if they have the right equipment and the right support and if we do everything we can to ensure that they get it.”

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The goal of the United States is “to weaken Russia to the point that it can no longer do what it did by invading Ukraine.” It means, as Blinken insists, “maximum support for Ukraine and maximum pressure on Russia, which fails to achieve its goals, foremost of which is the subjugation of Ukraine and the wresting of its sovereignty and independence from it. But it did not work.”

President Volodymyr Zelensky with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (right) and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin

strategy
Austin and Blinken announced another $713 million in military aid, 322 of which to Ukraine and the rest to 15 allied and partner countries, which have supplied Ukrainians in recent weeks. Another 165 million will be used to purchase ammunition. This brings US military aid to Ukraine to $3.7 billion since the start of the invasion, while President Biden already expects another 800 million. Congress last month approved a 6.5 billion military aid package for Ukraine out of a total of 13.6 billion from all allies. And just yesterday, the British Minister of Defense, Ben Wallace, announced that he had authorized the dispatch of 5 thousand anti-tank missiles and air defense systems.

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From Poland, Austin will travel today to Ramstein, Germany, for a meeting of defense ministers from NATO and other countries, 20 in all, to ask partners to increase aid. Our Minister, Lorenzo Guerini, will also be there. The Italian government is preparing, through a new ministerial decree, to send other weapons that are part of the secret list already approved in Parliament when the war broke out. For Zelensky, the key element of an operation that “will lead to peace” is the availability of sufficient quantity and quality of weapons and ammunition to strengthen the strength of the Ukrainian armed forces. Putin’s accusations of the United States and its allies come from the Kremlin. The Tsar says that the West “wants to divide Russian society and destroy Russia from within,” including “provocations against the Russian armed forces and the use of foreign media.”

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What is strange is diplomacy that pushes for war “instead of asking for diplomatic solutions.” It evokes the “colonial past of the West”. Moscow’s narrative, also to justify the failures on the ground, is that the war is not with Kyiv, but with the whole West. Finally, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, headed to Ankara yesterday accompanied by Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and together they affirmed the common goal of “ending the war as quickly as possible.” But Ukrainians criticize Guterres for putting Putin in Moscow on his agenda for talks.

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