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Western Weapons Sent to Ukraine ‘No Longer Relevant’: Official

Ukraine is in trouble because Western weapons are no longer a match for Russia, according to a high-ranking military officer who spoke to Politico.

The officer, interviewed anonymously, said Ukraine’s allies had been helpful from the early stages of the invasion.

But these days, they say, support has been too little and too slow to contribute significantly to pushing back against Russia.

He said shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles supplied by the UK and US in the first weeks of the invasion were delivered on time and proved decisive in the defense of kyiv.

“But often we just don’t get the weapon systems when we need them; they arrive when they are no longer useful,” the officer said.

“Every weapon has its own moment. F-16s were needed in 2023; they won’t be needed in 2024,” he said.

Western allies – after months of lobbying – agreed to give Ukraine F-16s, but none of those planes are expected to be on the battlefield until the end of this year because the pilots are still training to pilot them.

These comments come during a significant waiting period. In the United States, Republicans in the House of Representatives have long blocked a funding package supported by the White House and the Senate.

This week, House Speaker Mike Johnson laid out a different plan to gain support for Ukraine, but it’s also unclear whether it’s viable.

In the meantime, according to Politico’s sources, the usefulness of such aid is diminishing.

“There is nothing that can help Ukraine now because there are no serious technologies capable of compensating Ukraine for the large mass of troops that Russia is likely to throw at us,” said another anonymous military source to the media.

“We don’t have these technologies, and the West doesn’t have them in sufficient numbers either.”

A third anonymous source said what Ukraine really needs is more traditional weapons and drones.

“We need howitzers and shells, hundreds of thousands of shells and rockets,” the officer said, estimating that Ukraine needs at least 4 million shells and 2 million drones.

These comments echo those of Jonathan Poquette, an American veteran fighting in Ukraine. In a recent interview with Business Insider’s Sinéad Baker, Poquette said he isn’t interested in more expensive, flashier equipment like tanks.

“Give me bullets. Give me mortars. Give me artillery. Give me things that will enable every soldier to fight and kill the Russians,” he said.

He said that while tanks “are important, I think it overshadows the whole picture,” namely the need for “ammunition, grenades, claymores or other types of mines, rockets, various different rocket systems.”

“What can a tank do?” he asked rhetorically, saying: “Not as much as 50,000 artillery shells, 5,000 mortar shells.”

Ukraine’s allies have collectively delivered more than a million artillery shells, as well as heavy equipment like tanks and infantry fighting vehicles and long-range missiles like the Storm Shadow.

The United States has provided $44.2 billion in military aid since the invasion began, the statement said. But this aid came in stages, gradually increasing Ukraine’s capabilities.

Ukraine has complained that it was never enough to cause a breakthrough, but the United States and others have said the slow pace was necessary to reduce the risk of a war escalation by Russia .

businessinsider

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