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Arms, ammunition pouring into Ukraine; Russia broadens its offensive

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had sought weapons and ammunition from the US and other countries in the fight against Russia.

Russia-Ukraine conflict

A soldier stands in front of a damaged residential building in Kyiv, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine | Photo: Reuters

IANS New Delhi
As Russia-Ukraine war enters into another crucial day on Monday, the US, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members and other European Union countries rushed in to supply weapons to Ukraine. Seeing this, Russia broadened its offensive on Monday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had sought weapons and ammunition from the US and other countries in the fight against Russia. When the US had asked Zelensky to leave the country, he said, "The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride." In a video posted two days ago, Zelensky said he is still in Kiev. "I am here. We are not putting down arms. We will be defending our country, because our weapon is truth, and our truth is that this is our land, our country, our children, and we will defend all of this."
"That is it. That's all I wanted to tell you. Glory to Ukraine," he added. Zelensky's calls for arms and ammunition were immediately taken up by US, NATO members and other European countries.
The US
A senior senior defense official said the US continues to supply security assistance to Ukraine. President Joe Biden authorized an additional $350 million of military assistance from Defense Department inventories including anti-armor, small arms, various munitions, body armor and related equipment -- to support Ukraine's frontline defenders, who are facing down Russia's unprovoked attack, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby had said. That brings the total US security assistance approved for Ukraine to $1 billion over the past year. It's the third time Biden has expedited emergency security assistance for Ukraine's defense in recent months using his presidential authority, Kirby said.
"We, along with our allies and partners, are standing together to continue to expedite security assistance to Ukraine and are employing all available security cooperation tools in support of the Ukrainian people as they defend themselves against this aggression," Kirby said.
"Our commitment and deliveries continue as a sign of our unwavering support for Ukraine sovereignty and territorial integrity," he added.
NATO allies sent thousands of anti-tank weapons, hundreds of air-defence missiles and thousands of small arms and ammunition stocks. The allies are also providing millions of euros worth of financial assistance and humanitarian aid, including medical supplies to help Ukrainian forces. Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the United States have already sent or are approving significant deliveries of military equipment to Ukraine.
Ukraine has already received critical weapons, including Javelin missiles and anti-aircraft missiles, from NATO Allies, as well as millions of euros of financial assistance. Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States are offering humanitarian aid or opening their borders to Ukrainian refugees.
Croatia, Poland and Romania are already welcoming Ukrainian refugees. Italy is also providing immediate financial assistance to the Ukrainian government, and Turkey has deepened its defence ties with Ukraine and delivered humanitarian aid. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: "I welcome that Allies are stepping up to support Ukraine, with additional military equipment, financial assistance and humanitarian aid. Self-defence is a right enshrined in the UN Charter, and Allies are helping Ukraine uphold that right. This sends a clear message of NATO's full support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday said he intends to increase its military aid to Ukraine by offering weapons. "I've just spoken to the defense minister and we'll be seeking to provide whatever support we can for lethal aid through our NATO partners, particularly the United States and the United Kingdom," Morrison said. He also said that they will be working through those channels because that's the most effective way to do it.
"They are already providing support in these areas and we will be assisting them with what they are doing," Morrison said.
Germany reversed a historic policy of never sending weapons to conflict zones. It stated that the Russian-Ukraine crisis was an epochal moment that imperiled the entire post-World War II order across Europe. The German will send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger anti-aircraft defense systems to Ukraine. The government has also authorized the Netherlands to send Ukraine 400 rocket-propelled grenade launchers and told Estonia to ship over nine howitzers.
"The Russian invasion of Ukraine marks a turning point. It threatens our entire post-war order. In this situation, it is our duty to do our utmost to support Ukraine in defending itself against Vladimir Putin's invading army. Germany stands closely by Ukraine's side," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a statement.
Responding to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's telephone call from Kiev saying his country needs more arms to defend against Russian military operations, French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to deliver additional defense equipment to the Ukrainian authorities as well as fuel support.
France will send defensive military equipment to Ukraine. They are still considering sending offensive arms.
More countries chipping in
The Netherlands said it will send 200 Stinger anti-aircraft defense systems to Ukraine. Belgium announced it would supply Ukraine with 2,000 machine guns and 3,800 tonnes of fuel.
War intensified
Seeing the anti-war coalition is taking form and supplying weapons to Ukraine, Russia has intensified attacks at various locations. Zelensky took to Twitter to state that partners were sending weapons to help Kiev fight Russian troops. "Weapons and equipment from our partners are on the way to Ukraine," he wrote on Twitter. "The anti-war coalition is working!" Soon after that, the Russians have broadened their offensive in Ukraine from all directions.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 28 2022 | 1:19 PM IST

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