Posted by on January 30, 2023 11:47 am
Categories: News Washington Examiner

Ukraine’s Zelensky wants the West to deliver him weapons faster

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meets with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (Genya Savilov, Pool Photo via AP) Genya Savilov/AP

Ukraine’s Zelensky wants the West to deliver him weapons faster

Mike Brest January 30, 10:50 AMJanuary 30, 10:50 AM Video Embed

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged his Western allies to speed up weapons shipments and to provide more of them as the war approaches its one-year anniversary.

While the U.S., Germany, and others came to an agreement to provide Ukraine with tanks earlier this month, Kyiv officials quickly turned their attention back to other long-standing requests.


“It is very important to maintain the dynamics of defense support from our partners,” Zelensky said in his Sunday address. “The speed of supply has been and will be one of the key factors in this war. Russia hopes to drag out the war, to exhaust our forces. So, we have to make time our weapon. We must speed up the events, speed up the supply and opening of new necessary weaponry options for Ukraine.”

Ukrainian officials reiterated their calls for fighter jets and long-range missiles after President Joe Biden agreed to provide Ukraine with 31 M1A2 Abrams tanks, though the U.S. is not prepared to provide either currently. U.S. officials have not provided Ukraine with long-range missiles that could be used to hit targets within Russian territory.

National Security Council coordinator John Kirby said last week that the tanks “will take many months before they can get on the ground” and would not confirm they would reach Ukraine by the end of 2023, though the German-provided Leopard tanks should arrive by the end of March, the Germans have announced.

The Institute for the Study of War reported in its Sunday update that delays in providing Ukraine with long-range attack systems, advanced air defense systems, and tanks have limited its ability to “take advantage of opportunities for larger counter-offensive operations presented by flaws and failures in Russian military operations.” 

He also called the situation on the front lines in Donetsk “very tough,” noting that the cities of Bakhmut and Vuhledar “are under constant Russian attacks.”

A Ukrainian commander said in an interview on Ukrainian television that the fighting in Bakhmut has amounted to “a living hell.”

“Because for five or six months, near Bakhmut has been a living hell. The enemy is constantly attacking. And we can observe more about how the weather is changing, which, by the way, has a great impact on the combat capability, morale, and living conditions of each soldier,” said Volodymyr Nazarenko, deputy commander of the “Svoboda” battalion of the 4th Rapid Reaction Brigade of Ukraine’s National Guard.


“What we see is that Wagner is almost completely destroyed. They have now been replaced by paratroopers, who also suffer losses almost every day, not only in manpower but also in armored vehicles,” he added.

The ISW reported in its Saturday update that conventional Russian forces are likely replacing the exhausted Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary group that the U.S. government designated as a significant transnational criminal organization last week, which had been leading the fighting in the region. 

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