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U.S. and NATO consider Ukraine in urgent need of further arms

Ukraine urgently needs more military aid and Western support will not falter, the United States and the NATO military alliance pledged on Tuesday, in the face of a new Russian offensive around the one-year anniversary of the war.

Ukraine braces for assault as Russia launches major offensive in Donbas

The eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut endured heavy artillery fire on Monday in what the NATO chief said appeared to be the start of a major new…

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face of a new Russian offensive around the one-year anniversary of the war.
Western defense chiefs were meeting in Brussels to discuss both new arms provisions to Kyiv, which is pleading for greater firepower, and maintenance of existing supplies including shells whose production can hardly keep pace with the war.

Nexta reported that the U.S., Poland, and Czech republic will supply additional tanks, whilst the U.S., Germany, and the Netherlands will provide Ukraine with Patriot air defense systems, plus France and Italy will hand over SAMP/T air defense systems.

In addition, the #USA, #Poland and the #CzechRepublic will supply tanks in addition to those already sent. The #USA, #Germany and the #Netherlands will supply #Ukraine with Patriot air defence systems, and #France and #Italy with SAMP/T air defence systems.

— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) February 14, 2023
“Ukraine has urgent requirements to help it meet this crucial moment in the course of the war,” U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin said at a meeting of the so-called Ramstein group of allies of Ukraine.

“The Kremlin is still betting it can wait us out but one year on we are as united as ever. That shared resolve will help sustain Ukraine’s momentum in the crucial weeks ahead,” he added.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gave the same message about Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

“We see no signs that President Putin is preparing for peace. What we see is the opposite, he is preparing for more war, for new offensives and new attacks,” he told reporters.

“This has become a grinding war of attrition, and therefore it’s also a battle of logistics … When it comes to artillery, we need ammunition, we need spare parts, we need maintenance, we need all the logistics to ensure that we are able to sustain these weapons systems.”

Depleted stocks
NATO defense ministers were to talk after the Ramstein group meeting.

The alliance plans to increase targets for stockpiling ammunition as Kyiv is burning through shells much faster than Western countries can produce them, leaving stocks badly depleted.

Germany announced it has signed contracts with arms maker Rheinmetall to restart production of ammunition for the Gepard anti-aircraft guns it has delivered to Kyiv.

It had been trying for months to find new munitions for the guns, which its own military decommissioned in 2010.

NATO defense ministers were also to discuss adapting a target for members to spend 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on defense. Some nations see this as too low, given the Ukraine war, while others such as Germany are still far below the 2 percent.

Russian forces close in on Bakhmut
Russian forces bombarded Ukrainian troops and towns along the frontlines in the eastern Donetsk region on Tuesday in what appeared to be early salvoes of a new offensive as Western allies met in Brussels to plan stepped-up supplies to the Kyiv government.

The Donetsk city of Bakhmut, a principal target for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s invading army, was in a precarious position.

“There is not a single square meter in Bakhmut that is safe or that is not in range of enemy fire or drones,” regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told Ukraine’s national broadcaster.

He said Russian artillery was hitting targets all along the frontlines in Donetsk, which along with the Luhansk region makes up the Donbas, Ukraine’s industrial heartland and a main objective for the Russians.

With the first anniversary of the invasion approaching, the Kremlin has intensified operations across a broad area of southern and eastern Ukraine and a big new offensive has been widely anticipated.

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