Saturday, May 25, 2024

Ukraine lacks weapons to stop Russian army: Zelensky

Ukraine does not have sufficient weapons to conduct offensive operations against the Russian armed forces or to disrupt its progress, President Volodymyr Zelensky has admitted.

“As for thwarting the Russians’ counteroffensive actions — there are not enough appropriate weapons [in Ukraine],” the Ukrainian president said during an appearance on a national news broadcast.

Ukraine’s armed forces are attempting to compensate for the shortage of artillery shells with drones, which “help but cannot be an alternative,” he added.

Western countries have ramped up military and financial aid to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s military operation in February 2022. The Kremlin has consistently warned against continued arms deliveries to Kiev, saying they would lead to further escalation of the conflict.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has published statistics detailing the aid supplied to Ukraine from abroad during the conflict with Russia. According to its figures, Kiev’s foreign backers together have spent more than $203 billion on assisting the government of President Zelensky.

Some 54 countries have been providing assistance to the Ukrainian forces amid the fighting with Russia, the ministry said in a report.

More than 500 US and NATO spacecraft are working for the needs of Kiev. Those include 70 military surveillance satellites, while the rest are commercial but of double use, the ministry claimed in a post on Telegram.

Ukrainian troops are also relying on more than 20,000 Starlink terminals from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, according to the figures.

Kiev has been supplied with more than 1,600 units of missile and artillery equipment, over 200 air defense systems, some 5,220 tanks and armored vehicles, and more than 23,000 drones, the ministry noted.

The Russian military’s estimates also claim that over 13,500 foreign mercenaries came to Ukraine to fight for Kiev. Among these were some 8,500 Europeans and over 2,700 from North and South America, while the rest traveled from Asia and Africa, it added.

Officials have estimated that a total of 5,900 visiting soldiers of fortune have been killed, while over 5,600 have fled the battlefield. The number of foreigners in the ranks of the Ukrainian military currently stands at over 1,900, according to Moscow.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of weapons to Kiev by the US, EU and their allies will not prevent it from achieving the goals of its military operation and will only increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. According to Russian officials, the provision of arms, intelligence-sharing, and training of Ukrainian troops means that Western nations have already become de-facto parties to the conflict.

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