After virtually a yr, the free world nonetheless stands with Ukraine because it defends its liberty and sovereignty, Secretary of Protection Lloyd J. Austin III mentioned on the conclusion of the Ukraine Protection Contact Group assembly in Brussels at present.
Austin and Military Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers, praised the coalition that has grown for the reason that Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Subsequent week will mark a yr since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine. “Our hearts are with the households of all of the Ukrainian troopers killed and wounded, preventing to defend their nation, their sovereignty and their fellow residents,” Austin mentioned.
The secretary mentioned the U.S. additionally mourns the harmless civilians killed as Russia targets Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure. “Russia has inflicted a yr of tragedy and terror on Ukraine,” he mentioned. “However the individuals of Ukraine have impressed the world.”
These nations rallied as a part of the Ukraine Protection Contact Group. “Nations of goodwill have rallied collectively to reject Putin’s imaginative and prescient of a world of chaos the place tyrants can trample borders and conquer their peaceable neighbors and break the principles of conflict,” Austin mentioned. “That is what this contact group represents. Collectively, now we have made clear that we’ll help Ukraine’s self-defense for the lengthy haul. And we’ll transfer out with the urgency that the second calls for.”
America has led this effort, and Austin chairs the contact group, which has grown to 54 nations. President Joe Biden introduced one other spherical of help to Ukraine earlier this month. This contains extra ammunition for Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, rocket launchers; heavy machine weapons to knock down Russian and Iranian drones; and mine-resistant, ambush-protected autos.
Contact group members are supplying Ukraine with primary fight tanks, together with Challenger tanks from the UK, reconditioned T-72 tanks from plenty of international locations, Leopard 2 tanks from Germany and several other different international locations, and M1A2 Abrams tanks from the USA.
America additionally pledged $1.75 billion for essential air protection capabilities.
“At at present’s contact group, we joined once more with our valued allies and companions to ensure that Ukraine has what it wants, when it wants it,” Austin mentioned. “We proceed to work collectively to supply Ukraine with full combat-credible capabilities and never simply gear. And that is why we mentioned synchronizing our donations into an built-in coaching plan.”
All informed, member states of the contact group have given Ukraine’s defenders greater than eight fight brigades, he mentioned.
The navy capabilities are necessary, however understanding how they work and the way they work collectively is extra necessary, and the contact group is an integral a part of this effort. “This is not about one single functionality,” Austin mentioned. “It is about delivering all of the capabilities that we promise. It is about integrating all these programs collectively. It is about working with Ukrainians to assist them struggle for his or her freedom.”
Milley confused the contact group should keep collectively. “Putin thought he might defeat Ukraine rapidly, fracture the NATO alliance and act with impunity,” he mentioned. “He was incorrect. “Ukraine stays free. They continue to be unbiased. NATO and this coalition has by no means been stronger, and Russia is now a worldwide pariah.
“The world stays impressed by Ukrainian bravery and resilience,” he continued. “Briefly, Russia has misplaced. They’ve misplaced strategically, operationally and tactically, and they’re paying an unlimited value on the battlefield. However till Putin ends his conflict of selection, the worldwide neighborhood will proceed to help Ukraine with the gear and capabilities it must defend itself.”
The contact group is essential to the hassle. Of the international locations that gathered for the assembly, “11 international locations have pledged tanks for Ukraine, 22 have pledged infantry preventing autos, 16 pledged artillery and munitions, and 9 extra pledged air protection artillery,” Milley mentioned. “The group is targeted on delivering the capabilities dedicated and effectively offering the coaching, the spare components, the sustainment and logistics needed for the complete employment of those programs.”
Milley mentioned the conflict is extraordinarily dynamic. At the same time as Ukraine is preventing for its survival, the nation is coaching and evolving for future operations. “Ukraine will combine current commitments of armored autos, infantry preventing autos, and tanks with fires to attain the impact of synchronized floor maneuver,” the chairman mentioned. “Whereas Russia has waged this conflict for much too lengthy, they won’t outlast the Ukrainian individuals, nor the group of allies and companions that met at present.”