Ukraine was bombarded by Russian missiles on Thursday and Friday, days after the U.S. and its allies promised tanks to the invaded nation.
“Today, we withstood another massive missile strike by terrorists,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Thursday.
“Every Russian missile against our cities, every Iranian drone used by terrorists is an argument why we need more weapons. Only weapons neutralize terrorists,” he continued.
Battles were raging between the two countries as the Russian invasion approached its one-year mark. A total of 11 people were killed by drone and missile strikes, Reuters reported.
The commitment earlier this week made by the U.S. and Germany to send shipments of tanks to the Ukrainian warfront came after months of Zelenskyy asking for more help from the Western world against Russia.
“We never ruled tanks out,” John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, said on Thursday. “We have been — from the beginning of this war, now 11 months ago — been evolving the capabilities we’re providing with Ukraine with the conditions on the ground.”
By making this commitment, other allies did so as well, including Poland and France.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked these nations for helping Ukraine fight Russia on Thursday. He said that many countries are speeding up the defense equipment shipment, and he expressed gratitude to those that had placed sanctions on Moscow.
“We are expanding our tank coalition — there is a corresponding decision of Canada, and I am grateful for it. We already have 12 countries in our tank coalition,” he said.
Air defense systems in Ukraine and the Ukrainian fighters recently shot down many missiles, saving “hundreds of lives” and “dozens of infrastructure facilities,” Zelenskyy added.
Since February of last year, when Russia invaded Ukraine, the U.S. has given Ukraine a total of $26.7 billion in aid. The U.S. recently granted Ukraine a new package worth $2.5 billion.
Last week, defense officials from more than 50 countries met and promised to send more equipment to Ukraine to help fight Russia, The Dallas Express reported.
Although Russia is accused of increasing attacks following the Ukrainian tank news, Moscow suggested that it did not think foreign tanks would do much good for their opponents.
Moscow Spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the U.S. tank move an “absurdity” and a waste of money, according to Reuters.
“But above all, it overestimates the potential it will add to the Ukrainian army,” Peskov said. “These tanks burn just like all the others.”
Poland — which shares a border with Ukraine — has offered 60 extra tanks to the country in addition to the 14 Leopard 2 tanks it had already agreed to send on Thursday. Zelenskyy tweeted in Polish, expressing his gratitude and making reference to the two countries previously uniting against Russia.
“Like 160 years ago we are together, but this time the enemy doesn’t stand a chance. Together we will win,” the tweet read.
It will likely be months before Ukrainian soldiers receive tank shipments and are trained to use them, Reuters reported. It remains to be seen whether this will come in time, as both sides of the dispute are currently preparing large spring offensives.
Why were the Russians given the heads up on these tanks? Did the US not realize this would accelerate Russias’ bombing of Ukraine?
Ukraine needs to turn to NATO and Biden needs to stop depleting our military equipment. We will be defenseless if a war breaks out.