A dash of howitzers, artillery shells, and drones heading for Ukraine in a New package $800 million announced Thursday by President Biden. The Pentagon says Ukraine now has more effective tanks on the ground than Russia due to shipments from countries including the Czech Republic.
The Big Picture: With A battle could be decisive At the moment in the eastern Donbass, the urgent need to get weapons to the front lines is growing, and fears about provoking Vladimir Putin are fading – at least in Washington.
- Biden promised to continue sending weapons “without interruption” and told Americans they should be proud that US weapons and intelligence are helping Ukraine “overcome Putin’s brutality.”
in contrast, German Chancellor Olaf Schulz is under pressureE from Kyiv and the European Union’s allies and government for their refusal to provide certain heavy weapons, such as tanks or other military vehicles.
- Schulz defended his cautious approach this week in the Bundestag, saying Germany cannot “move forward alone” and must consider its own defense needs and the risk of escalation beyond Ukraine’s borders.
There is also a growing debate About what a realistic result might look like in Donbass.
- A European official briefed reporters on Tuesday that the latest assessment is that Russia will be able to capture what remains of Luhansk and “a little” of Donetsk – the two provinces that make up the Donbass region – as well as a very narrow land corridor to Crimea.
- At this point, the official predicted, within four to six months, there would be a dead end and the possibility of more serious negotiations.
- However, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson He told Parliament This week he did not see any path to a diplomatic solution with Putin, and therefore “we must do everything in our power to ensure his failure.”
Some experts argue that, With sufficient Western support, Ukraine could in fact defeat Russia, which the Pentagon says lost 25% of its combat power in eight weeks of war.
- Eliot Cohen, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies chirp Thursday. “It’s time to double down and strive for Ukrainian victory.”
- European Council on Foreign Relations analysis confirms That if NATO countries commit to a loan program to Ukraine—combined with extensive training of Ukrainian forces in advanced systems such as the F-15 fighter jet—Ukraine could gain the upper hand.
- If the war continues, Russia will face dwindling stocks, and sanctions may affect future production of some weapons systems.
- Yes, but: It is not entirely clear what a military victory for Ukraine would look like, as outright surrender from Putin seems unlikely.
Putin in a televised interview Thursday Order of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to cancel plans to raid the massive steel plant in Mariupol where Ukrainian forces and hundreds of civilians are holding out, and isolate it instead.
- Putin has declared de facto control of the main port city, but has rejected Ukrainian calls for a humanitarian corridor to allow the exit of troops and civilians.
- Major Serhiy Volina, the commander of the Ukrainian separate 36th Marine Brigade defending the plant, refused to surrender but said Wednesday: “We are probably Facing our last daysif not hours.
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