Austin will hold a meeting at the Ramstein base in Germany with representatives of about forty countries (Getty)
The United States says the world is mobilizing in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began two months ago, in cooperation with Washington hosting a security summit in Germany involving more than 40 countries seeking to speed up and coordinate the delivery of more weapons for Kiev, while Moscow warned of a “real” danger of war.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is hosting the meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, following a trip to Kiev, where he promised additional support for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s war efforts.
“As we see this morning, countries around the world stand united in our determination to support Ukraine in its fight against Russian imperialist aggression,” Austin said at the start of the talks.
For his part, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, warned that Ukraine needed more security assistance now to help it face a potentially crucial Russian offensive in the east. He said the coming weeks are “critical”.
In statements to reporters traveling with him, Milley added: “Time is not on Ukraine’s side. The outcome of this battle now and here depends on the people in this room.” “The Ukrainians will fight. We have to make sure they have the means to fight,” Mili added.
Lavrov warns that the war will turn into a global conflict
As the war in Ukraine is causing unprecedented tensions between Russia and Western countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has hinted at the possibility of escalating the war into a global conflict.
Speaking to Russian news agencies, he said: “The risk is great and real and can not be underestimated.” His remarks came a day after a visit to Ukraine by US Secretary of State and Defense Anthony Blinken and Lloyd Austin.
Zelensky said Ukraine’s victory was only a matter of time. “Thanks to your courage and the wisdom of our defenders, thanks to the courage of Ukrainians and all Ukrainians, our country is a true symbol of the struggle for freedom,” he said Monday night.
A German government source said today that Germany will allow the supply of tanks to Ukraine.
On Monday, the United States announced an additional $ 700 million in military aid to Ukraine, bringing its total aid to $ 3.4 billion. The Americans are now giving Kiev heavy weapons to repel Russian forces, which are concentrating their efforts on eastern and southern Ukraine after failing to control Kiev.
“We want Russia to be exhausted to the point where it can not take steps like the invasion of Ukraine,” Austin said.
Pentagon: The Russian military has become weaker
For his part, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said today, Tuesday, that the Russian military has already become weaker and that the Russian state has weakened after the war against neighboring Ukraine.
“It has become a weaker army,” Kirby added in an interview with CNN. “They are a weaker country now and they are isolating themselves again. We want Russia not to be able to threaten its neighbors in the future.”
“Its economy is suffering. Its army is exhausted in many ways, not completely, but they are definitely losing lives and suffering losses in this invasion of Ukraine,” he said. Kirby did not elaborate on his assessment of the state of the Russian military.
After Ukrainian forces repulsed the Russian attack on Kiev in the north, Moscow redeployed its forces to the east to launch a ground offensive in Donbass.
US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, estimate that Russia will rely heavily on artillery attacks in an attempt to bomb Ukrainian positions as Moscow moves through ground forces in several directions in an attempt to encircle and eliminate a large part of Ukrainian army.
But the United States also estimates that many Russian units have been impoverished, with some operating after suffering casualties of up to 30%, a percentage that officials say the U.S. military considers too high for units to continue fighting with them.
U.S. officials cite cases such as Russian tanks in which they are directed alone, without substandard crews and equipment that are either prone to malfunctions or obsolete.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Monday that British estimates show that about 15,000 Russian soldiers were killed in the conflict, while 2,000 armored vehicles, including about 530 tanks, were destroyed, along with 60 helicopters and fighter jets.
Russia has so far admitted to killing only 1,351 soldiers and wounding 3,825 others.
U.S. officials say Russia still has advanced capabilities and a numerical superiority in forces and shows a desire to continue sending troops and units to fight.
Defense experts and economists also say Moscow can economically resist a protracted war in Ukraine despite being subject to Western sanctions.
For its part, Ukraine boasts high morale, innovative tactics that are adaptable to battle, and knowledge of the local terrain, as well as weapons and intelligence from the United States and its allies.
“They definitely have a chance to fight,” said a U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Organizers say more than 40 countries are attending the conference, and meeting room footage showed the presence of countries mainly from Europe and the Middle East, including Israel, and even Africa. A screen showed the presence of representatives from South Korea and Japan virtually.
“This rally reflects the gathering of the world,” Austin said.
For its part, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry confirmed that the Russian military continues to strengthen its air defenses, offset losses related to the previous attack and bomb infrastructure.
The same source confirmed that the Russian army is mobilizing its forces in the south of the country and is trying to advance towards Zaporizhia (east), but suffered casualties and failed.
Russia says it wants to take control of the entire Donbas region, a major industrial basin in eastern Ukraine that has been controlled by pro-Moscow separatists since 2014, and control of the entire southern part of the country. daily battles.
Germany announced, for the first time, the shipment of heavy weapons to Ukraine. “We decided yesterday that Germany would facilitate the delivery of Gibbard self-propelled anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine,” German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told Ramstein, according to the text of her speech.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 killed thousands and displaced millions, raising fears of a wider confrontation between Russia and the United States, the world’s two largest nuclear powers.
(Reuters, The New Arab)