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NATO Chief Confirms Ukraine Has Received 98% of Promised Combat Vehicles

Story Highlights
  • Russia and Ukraine have very different ideas about how to make peace, and Beijing, which wants to be seen as a global diplomatic power
  • Zelenskyy has asked his Western partners to send modern fighter jets and long-range missiles to help push back Russian troops.

The head of NATO said that NATO allies and partner countries have given Ukraine 1,550 armored vehicles and 230 tanks to help it form units and take back land from Russian forces.

NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Thursday that Ukraine had received more than 98 percent of the combat vehicles that had been given to it during Russia’s invasion and war. This gives Kyiv more power as it thinks about starting a counteroffensive.

“We have trained and outfitted more than nine new armoured units in Ukraine. This will make it easier for Ukraine to keep taking back seized land, Stoltenberg said at a news conference.

It is thought that the new brigades will have more than 30,000 men. Ukraine’s friends have also sent “vast amounts of ammunition” and some NATO partner countries, like Sweden and Australia, have sent armored vehicles.

NATO countries have also given anti-aircraft systems, artillery, and MiG-29 planes made in the Soviet Union by Poland and the Czech Republic.

Stoltenberg emphasized this “unprecedented military support to Ukraine” but warned that “we should never underestimate Russia.”

He said that Moscow was getting ready to send in more ground troops and was “willing to send in thousands of troops with very high rates of casualties.”

In what seems to be a long-lasting war, the head of NATO said that NATO countries must “stay the course” and keep giving Ukraine what it needs to win.

Stoltenberg said that a “multiyear program of support” for Ukraine would be planned at a NATO summit in July in Lithuania.

Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels, “This will put Ukraine in a strong position to keep taking back occupied land.”

His comments came a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he and Chinese leader Xi Jinping had a “long and meaningful” phone call. This was their first known touch since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago.

Even though Zelenskyy said that Xi’s call on Wednesday gave him hope and Western officials praised Xi’s move, it didn’t seem like the peace situation changed right away.

Russia and Ukraine have very different ideas about how to make peace, and Beijing, which wants to be seen as a global diplomatic power, hasn’t said anything bad about Moscow’s attack.

China’s government has seen Russia as a diplomatic ally in the fight against US influence in world events. Xi went to Moscow last month.

Stoltenberg said, “Maybe this war will end at the table of talks.”

But he made it clear that “it is up to Ukraine to decide what the terms of talks are and how they should be held.”

In any case, Stoltenberg said, “Any chance of serious talks requires that the Ukraine has the military power to send President Vladimir Putin a very clear message that he won’t win on the battlefield.”

Last week, representatives of NATO members met in Ramstein, Germany, for talks hosted by the United States. They talked about the defense equipment and supplies Ukraine has said it needs.

Zelenskyy has asked his Western partners to send modern fighter jets and long-range missiles to help push back Russian troops. So far, NATO countries have not sent jets made in the West.

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