Ukrainian officials urge Western partners to speed up military aid deliveries

Ukraine’s president and foreign minister have pressed British Foreign Secretary David Cameron to accelerate the delivery of promised military aid to Kyiv, as Russia heaps battlefield pressure on depleted Ukrainian forces in the third year of war.

“It is important that the weapons included in the UK support package announced last week arrive as soon as possible,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on the social platform X, as Lord Cameron visited Kyiv on Thursday.

He said armoured vehicles, ammunition and missiles of various types were top of the list.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who also met with Lord Cameron, said on X that the focus was on “speeding up military aid”.

That message was rammed home by the deputy chief of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, Major-General Vadym Skibitsky, who said Russia is trying to exploit its current advantage in weapons and manpower and is planning a major offensive this summer.

“Our problem is very simple: We have no weapons,” Mr Skibitsky was quoted as saying in an interview with The Economist published on Friday.

Vital support pledged by Western allies to help Ukraine fend off the Kremlin’s forces has been delayed by political disagreements in the United States and a lack of manufacturing capacity in Europe.

That has opened a door to advances for the bigger and better-equipped Russian army, especially along the front line in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine and its Western partners are in a race against the clock to deploy the new military aid, especially a fresh batch of US support, in coming weeks and prevent Russia taking more ground.

The pressing concern at the moment is keeping the strategic eastern hilltop city of Chasiv Yar out of Russian hands.

Capturing the city would offer Russia the opportunity of attacking other key cities deeper inside the Donetsk region and hitting important Ukrainian supply lines.

Chasiv Yar is being battered by Russian artillery, drones and missiles. Glide bombs have also been deployed. They are half-ton bombs fitted with wings and launched from aircraft from behind Russian lines. They demolish buildings and leave huge craters, unnerving local defenders.

Russia used a similar strategy of relentless bombardment to force Ukrainian troops out of Avdiivka in February.


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