Senior Ukrainian and US defense officials discuss military aid during call
Three senior US security officials held a video call with a group of their Ukrainian counterparts to discuss military aid to Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s chief of staff said on Saturday.
“We discussed the continuation of providing the necessary assistance to our country, in particular vehicles, weapons and ammunition,” Andriy Yermak wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
Yermak said he, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, General-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi and several other senior commanders and officials attended the meeting on Friday.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, top military commander Mark Milley and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan represented the other side.
“Ukrainian officials provided an update on battlefield conditions and expressed their appreciation for the continued provision of U.S. security assistance,” according to a White House statement released Friday.
Yermak did not give details of specific requests to the US side.
The meeting came as Kiev seeks to muster enough weapons from its Western backers, of which the United States has been the most important, to mount a counteroffensive and attempt to retake territory captured by Moscow l ‘last year.
Yermak added that Zelenskyy joined the meeting at the end to give his views on the liberation of Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia since its invasion nearly 13 months ago.
“We informed our allies in detail about the current situation on the front lines, combat operations in the most difficult areas, as well as the urgent needs of the Ukrainian army,” Yermak said.
Ukrainian forces on Friday continued to resist Russian assaults on the crumbling town of Bakhmut, the focal point for eight months of Russian attempts to advance in Ukraine’s eastern industrial Donetsk region on the border with Russia.