US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has urged kyiv’s allies to speed up arms deliveries to prevent Russia from prolonging the war. The minister made the corresponding statement at a press conference after the meeting on the defense of Ukraine.
“Ukraine has no time to lose. Our colleagues in the Contact Group also understand that we must promptly and fully fulfill our obligations, including the delivery of our armored vehicles to the battlefield and the proper training of Ukrainian soldiers. We also need to organize the parts supply and maintenance needed to use the new systems as soon as possible,” said Austin.
The Minister added that after the meeting, the members of the group confirmed their determination to continue supporting Ukraine. In particular, he said that Sweden intends to supply Ukraine with 10 Leopard tanks and key air defense components. In turn, Norway, together with the United States, will transfer two NASAMS anti-aircraft systems to Kyiv.
Austin said Russia would win a war of attrition, but lacked the resources to do so.
Russia must rely on Iran and North Korea, and the Russian military must use weapons from World War II. Russia is short of military resources and short of friends. At the same time [Владимир] Putin, in the year of the war, could be convinced that the United States and the Contact Group are ready to support Ukraine for the long term. Putin is still hoping he can wear down Ukraine and push us aside, but we’re not going to give up either.
In the fall of 2022, the Russian military began to actively use Iranian-made Shahed-131/136 kamikaze drones, renamed Geran-1 and Geran-2 in the Russian Federation.
In February 2023, it was learned that Iran handed over Russia a batch of long-range reusable attack drones. In March, the Financial Times writingthat Iran is ready to start supplying the Russian army with ballistic missiles, however, according to the publication, Russia has so far avoided such purchases, because it fears that in response the United States will start supplying long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine.
In addition, according to US intelligence, Russia, due to the depletion of its own stocks, actively purchased artillery shells and short- and medium-range missiles from North Korea. Russian authorities called these reports are “a Western media fabrication”.