US Secretary of State: Putin thought Ukraine would collapse. He didn’t consider us
- “Russia is running out of ammunition,” Lloyd Austin was saying
- — Poland is a leader when it comes to the transfer of armored vehicles. It also provides shelter to refugees from Ukraine, he stressed
- “Ukraine is watching us, the Kremlin is watching us, and history is watching us too. We will not give up,” he said
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The meeting of the contact group for military assistance to Ukraine has started in Germany. The host of the cyclical meeting at the Ramstein base is US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. The axis of the dispute among Western countries is the issue of supplying Ukraine with battle tanks that Kyiv expects.
— The Russian attacks are designed to break the spirit of Ukraine, but they have failed. Russia is running out of ammunition, he noted at a meeting at Ramstein Air Base. “Even North Korea does not want to admit that it supplies Russia with weapons,” he stressed, highlighting the wide support that Ukraine enjoys around the world.
The US will also provide Ukraine with combat training, carried out together with EU partners. “We are proud to stand together for freedom,” said the US Secretary of Defense.
– Poland is a leader when it comes to the transfer of armored vehicles – he said. “It also shelters refugees from Ukraine,” Austin pointed out.
“This is not a moment where we can afford to slow down. Ukraine is watching us, the Kremlin is watching us, and history is watching us too. We will not give up, he said.
After Austin’s speech opening the Ramstein Summit, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky took the floor, connecting remotely with the participants of the meeting. He thanked for the help so far, at the same time emphasizing that time is on Russia’s side, and “terror gains momentum when the defenders do not have enough weapons.”
The Pentagon announced a new military aid package for Ukraine on Thursday evening. It contained weapons worth $2.5 billion, including 90 Stryker wheeled personnel carriers, 59 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and Avenger air defense systems.
This is the 30th military aid package for Ukraine already announced by the US since last year’s invasion by Russia. The total value of the promised equipment is $26.7 billion.
The rest of the article is below the video.
On Friday afternoon, at the German Ramstein base, Mariusz Błaszczak, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of National Defense, will meet directly with the new German Defense Minister, Boris Pistorius, according to PAP sources. Topics of conversation will include the issue of supplying tanks to Ukraine.
As the AP points out, broader hesitation over sending tanks to Ukraine has shaken the coalition as Germany faces increasing pressure to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev or at least pave the way for other countries – such as Poland – to supply German Leopards from their own stockpiles.
The US refused to supply the M1 Abrams tanks, citing the complex maintenance of this equipment and the logistical challenges of the technologically advanced vehicle. The U.S. believes it would be more productive to send Leopards because many allies have them, and it would be easier to train Ukrainian troops to use them than with Abrams.
Britain announced last week it would send Challenger 2 tanks and said it was a natural progression in military aid to Ukraine.
Germany’s new defense minister, Boris Pistorius, referring to the tanks, told ARD television, “I’m pretty sure we’ll make a decision on this in the coming days, but I can’t say yet today what that will look like.”
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