A monument to Taras Shevchenko is seen near a residential building destroyed by Russian army shelling in Borodyanka, kyiv region, north-central Ukraine.
Hennadii Minchenko | Nurfoto | fake images
WASHINGTON – A Ukrainian delegation warned US officials in Washington this week that security assistance packages are not reaching the besieged country fast enough, a plea that comes amid Western security claims that the Kremlin will soon intensify its military campaign.
Over the past week, the delegation of Ukrainian civil society advocates, military veterans, and former government officials met with 45 lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, officials from the State and Defense departments, and the Council. Homeland Security at the White House.
“It’s the 44th day of the war that we were supposed to lose on the third day,” began Daria Kaleniuk, who heads the Ukraine Anti-Corruption Action Center, a national organization that helps Ukraine’s parliament and prosecutor’s office.
“What we need now is to arm our military and our territorial defense units so that we can prevent more backyard graves of innocent people,” he said Friday.
Kaleniuk added that US lawmakers and Biden administration officials have outlined a number of justifications for why certain weapons systems cannot be delivered, citing logistics issues, lack of inventory and bureaucratic constraints.
“The six-year-old boy who visits his mother’s grave in his backyard doesn’t want to hear about bureaucracy as an excuse not to deliver weapons to Ukraine,” Kaleniuk said.
“This is an extraordinary situation in which extraordinary measures must be taken. Raise your bureaucracy, raise it now. The president of the United States has enormous power, Congress has enormous power. We know it is possible,” he added.
In the courtyard of his home, 6-year-old Vlad Tanyuk stands near the grave of his mother Ira Tanyuk, who died of hunger and stress due to the war, outside kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, April 4. of 2022.
Rodrigo Abd | access point
Earlier in the week, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also called on NATO allies to catalyze the delivery of their weapons commitments.
“Either help us now, and I’m talking days, not weeks, or your help will come too late,” Kuleba told reporters at NATO headquarters on April 7.
“I have no doubt that Ukraine will have the necessary weapons to fight. The question is the timetable. This discussion is not about the list of weapons. The discussion is about the timetable, when we will get them and this is crucial,” he said. , adding that “people are dying today, the offensive is developing today.”
When asked about Kuleba’s comments, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken played down concerns that allies were withholding weapons explicitly requested by NATO. Ukraine.
“They are introducing new systems that they think would be useful and effective,” Blinken said from NATO headquarters.
“We apply our own experience, especially to the Pentagon to help determine what we think might be effective. What the Ukrainians will be ready to use as soon as they get it, and what we actually have access to and can get in real time,” he said, adding that the United States is working expeditiously to get the appropriate weapons into Ukraine.
Blinken’s comments echo those of US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff US Army General Mark Milley. Austin and Milley told lawmakers last week that some weapons systems on Ukraine’s wish list require months of training to operate.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on April 6, 2022.
Evelyn Hockstein | AFP | fake images
“Our point is to give Ukraine what it needs, what it asks for, period,” explained Olena Tregub, a former director of international assistance for Ukraine at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.
“We need strike drones, long-range and medium-range strike capabilities because as we sit here with you, the Russians are moving huge columns, huge forces into southeastern Ukraine,” Tregub said.
Western intelligence reports have recently assessed that Russian forces will soon focus their military might on eastern and southern Ukraine after weeks of stalled ground advances on the capital city of kyiv.
Over the past six weeks, Russian forces on the ground in Ukraine have been beset by a series of battlefield logistical problems, including reports of fuel and food shortages, as well as freeze-ups.
“When Russia started this war, its initial goals were to seize the capital of kyiv, replace the Zelensky government, and take control of much, if not all, of Ukraine,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters in the White House on April 4.
Sullivan said US officials believed the Kremlin is now reviewing its goal in the war.
A senior US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity to share new details from the Pentagon, said Russian troops, once near kyiv, are being resupplied with additional manpower in Belarus.
The official said the Pentagon believes those troops will soon return to the fight in Ukraine. Asked where the troops would likely go, the official said the Pentagon believes most of them will move to the Donbas region, the site of an ongoing conflict since 2014.
A woman walks past destroyed buildings in the town of Borodianka on April 6, 2022, where the Russian pullout last week has left clues to the ongoing battle to maintain control of the town, just 50 kilometers (30 miles) to the northwest. . from the capital of Ukraine, kyiv.
Genya Savilov | AFP | fake images
“We need protection for our sky,” said Maria Berlinska, a Ukrainian military veteran who fought in the Donbas conflict. She called on US lawmakers during a round of meetings in Washington, DC, for “serious weapons,” including medium-range surface-to-air missile systems, planes, tanks and armored vehicles.
“We are almost out of ammunition. If you don’t have ammunition, you can’t do anything,” he said, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war will probably extend beyond Ukraine’s borders.
“It is very naive to think that if Putin is going to take Ukraine, he will stop,” added Berlinska, who trains Ukrainian military volunteers in aerial reconnaissance.
“If we don’t win this war, it will be fought on NATO territory because Putin will not stop. He has bigger plans and he needs to be stopped in the Ukraine,” he warned.
Ukrainian soldiers walk past destroyed Russian tanks and armored vehicles, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Bucha, kyiv region, Ukraine, on April 6, 2022.
Alkis Konstantinidis | Reuters
Since the invasion of Moscow on February 24, the Biden administration has deployed more than 100,000 US troops to NATO member countries and has authorized $1.7 billion in security assistance.
In addition, the NATO alliance has prepared more than 140 warships and 130 aircraft on high alert. Meanwhile, NATO has constantly warned Putin that an attack on one NATO member state will be seen as an attack on all, triggering Article 5, the group’s cornerstone.
Ukraine, seeking NATO membership since 2002, borders four NATO allies: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. Poland currently hosts most of the 30-member alliance’s troops and has so far taken most of the refugees fleeing Putin’s war.
“I think we have shown the world that we are not going to give up because we know that if we give up there will be concentration camps. Putin is not even hiding what he is going to do with the Ukrainians”, the Anti-Corruption Action. Kaleniuk of the Center said.
“It is a genocide, the elimination of an entire nation and I am not exaggerating,” he added.
The UN has confirmed 1,793 civilian deaths and 2,439 injuries in Ukraine since Russia invaded its former Soviet neighbor on February 24.