Ukraine’s allies pledge more arms to help win war

Ukraine’s allies have pledged to send more weapons to help it defend against a renewed Russian offensive.

The US and others vowed to send artillery, anti-tank and air defence aid to Kyiv during a 90-minute video call on Tuesday.

Ukraine said it needed the weapons to help defend itself as Russia had launched a new campaign in the country’s east.

Clashes there have marked what Ukraine leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, said was the start of the “battle for the Donbas”.

The eastern Donbas – which comprises the Luhansk and Donetsk regions – was where Russia was concentrating its efforts.

According to Ukraine, Russian forces have been attacking Ukrainian positions along the entire 300-mile (480km) front line since Monday.

It was amid these renewed attacks that Western leaders met to discuss further military assistance for Ukraine.

Following the meeting, the US defence department said additional military aircraft and aircraft parts had been sent to Ukraine to increase their fleet size and repair others in Ukraine’s arsenal that were damaged.

The US defence department added that the US had not provided aircraft to Kyiv itself, and did not provide details on which countries have provided the aircraft.

President Zelensky has been appealing to the US for Soviet-made air defence systems and fighter jets as an alternative to a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

Last month, the US refused a proposal by Poland to provide it with MiG-29 fighter jets, which it would then transfer to Ukraine.

President Joe Biden, speaking to reporters after the meeting between Western allies, added that the US was planning to provide a further military aid package to Ukraine of a similar size to the $800m (£615m) aid package he announced last week, according to US media.

He said Washington would also be sending Ukraine more artillery – heavy guns deployed in land warfare.

Other countries also pledged to help Ukraine with further military assistance during the meeting.

“They (Ukraine) need support with more artillery, that is what we will be giving them,” said the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, in Parliament after the meeting.

In Berlin, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany was providing finance to enable Ukraine buy anti-tank weapons and ammunition from German arms manufacturers.

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic said it would repair Ukrainian tanks and armoured vehicles when they are damaged in combat. -BBC

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