May 27, 2022

If Ukraine had access to more weapons, war would be over

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he believes the war against Russia would have already been won if Western allies including the US and NATO sent more weapons to arm Ukraine. 

“If we had access to all the weapons we need, which our partners have and which are comparable to the weapons used by the Russian Federation, we would have already ended this war,” Zelensky said in a video address Tuesday evening, the Times of London reported.

“We would have already restored peace and liberated our territory from the occupiers, because the superiority of the Ukrainian military in tactics and wisdom is quite obvious.” 

Since the invasion began on Feb. 24, Zelensky has repeatedly asked the US and NATO for increased military aid and action, such as imposing a no-fly-zone over Ukraine – a move Western nations have avoided taking. 

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby holds a news briefing at the Pentagon on April 19, 2022 in Arlington, Virginia
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby updated the media on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and spoke about the recent shipments of American weapons and supplies to the Ukrainians, April 19, 2022.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Instead, the US in particular has repeatedly imposed sanctions against varying Russian oligarchs, businesses, banks, as well as President Vladimir Putin and members of his family. 

President Biden has also offered up varying packages of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, most recently approving an $800 million package last week – which includes helicopters and varying artillery and ammunition.

Still, Zelensky is looking for the West to do more. 

A rescuer works at a residential building damaged during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 19, 2022.
A rescuer works at a residential building damaged during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, April 19, 2022.
REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko/File Photo

“It is unfair that Ukraine is still forced to ask for what its partners have been storing somewhere for years. If they have the weapons that Ukraine needs here, need nore, if they have the ammunition that we need here and now, it is their moral duty first of all, to help protect freedom,” he said. “Help save the lvies of thousands of Ukrainians.” 

Zelensky went on to claim that any delay in additional aid “gives the occupiers an opportunity to kill more Ukrainians.” 

Leading up to the invasion and since it began, the Biden Administration has been slammed by Republicans and Democrats alike for not supplying Ukraine with more military aid, such as MiG-29 jet fighters.

U.S. Soldiers assigned to 41st Field Artillery Brigade load M270 Multiple
Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly asked the US and NATO for increased military aid and action.
U.S. Army photo by Gertrud Zach

“Despite heroic and skillful resistance by Ukrainian forces, Russia currently retains air superiority over Ukraine. Russia’s advantage in this domain could soon develop into air dominance if the Ukrainians do not receive necessary military aid,” a group of 58 bipartisan lawmakers wrote in a letter to Biden. 

“Providing Soviet-era platforms that Ukrainian servicemembers have previously operated and maintained will be essential to their success on the battlefield and will also protect U.S. defense technology from falling into the hands of the Russians,” they wrote.

Despite the urges from lawmakers and experts, the administration has defended the amount of aid they have supplied Ukrainians, with Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Tuesday touting upcoming US training of Ukrainian troops for Howitzer artillery systems. 

A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in the Joint Forces Operation, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, on Feb. 15, 2022
A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in the Joint Forces Operation, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, on Feb. 15, 2022.
AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File

“I think, you know, we’ve said many times it’s about supporting Ukraine as much as we can as fast as we can,” he said. “And while I don’t have any future shipments [of artillery] to speak to today, I think you can assume that should there be additional need in the future for more 155 artillery rounds, the United States will be right at the front of the line doing what we can to help–help them get them there.”

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