Thursday Jun 8, 2023
Thursday Jun 8, 2023

US, Germany to supply Ukraine with fighting vehicles

2023 Jan 06, 20:03, Washington
Marder infantry fighting vehicle. (Photo Credit - ANI)

Amid reports of Russian President Vladimir Putin dispatching one of his country's most modern warships on a long voyage through the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and into the Indian Ocean, US and Germany on Thursday (local time) decided to supply Ukraine with fighting vehicles, reported CNN.

The US will supply Ukraine with Bradley fighting vehicles, while Germany said it will provide Marder infantry fighting vehicles and a Patriot air defence battery.

Germany decided to provide Ukraine with Marder infantry fighting vehicles and an additional Patriot air defense battery, according to the German ambassador to the US Emily Haber.

"Germany will provide Marder infantry fighting vehicles to #Ukraine[?]. We'll also join the US in supplying an additional Patriot air defence battery," she wrote on Twitter.

The Marder is an infantry fighting vehicle used by the German military since the early 1970s but continuously upgraded. While the German military is in the process of phasing the vehicle out, hundreds are still in service.

An infantry fighting vehicle is a heavily armed armoured vehicle used to move soldiers around the battlefield. It's usually deployed together with main battle tanks.

Meanwhile, the United States will supply Ukraine with Bradley fighting vehicles as part of a new security assistance package to the country as it nears the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion, reported CNN.

The nearly USD 3 billion packages is among the largest packages of military equipment sent from the Pentagon to Ukraine since the war began. It comes as Ukraine prepares for intensive fighting in the spring as the weather warms.

US President Joe Biden affirmed the new commitment in a telephone call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday, reported CNN.

The new security package comes as Russia intensifies its attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who visited the White House last month, has called for additional assistance from Western nations to protect against Russian aggression. He said the support was not "charity" but "an investment in the ged Russian warship with Zircon hypersonic missile, long-range weapons that travel more than five times the speed of sound and are harder to detect and intercept, reported CNN.

The frigate Admiral Gorshkov set off from an unnamed northern Russian port on Wednesday after Putin spoke with the ship's commander and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu via video link, according to a report from the TASS news agency.

Russia tested the Zircon system in late 2021, firing from Admiral Gorshkov in the White Sea and hitting a naval target more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) away, according to reports at the time.

The current mission would be its first deployment in a potential combat situation.

However, Putin has called for a temporary ceasefire, he ordered his defense minister to implement a temporary ceasefire in Ukraine for 36 hours this week to allow Orthodox Christians to attend Christmas services, according to a Kremlin statement Thursday.

Putin's order came after the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, called for a ceasefire between Jan. 6 and Jan. 7, when many Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas.

But it was dismissed as a cynical ploy by Ukraine and the US. Zelenskyy said that Moscow wants to use the Orthodox Christmas holiday as "cover" to resupply, reported CNN.

During his nightly address, Zelenskyy said Russia aims to use Orthodox Christmas "as a cover" to resupply and stop Ukrainian advances in the eastern Donbas region.

"What will this accomplish? Only another increase in the casualty count," he added.

Putin told his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Moscow is open to "serious dialogue" regarding Ukraine, but Kyiv must accept "new territorial realities."

Erdogan, who positioned himself as a broker in the Russia-Ukraine conflict throughout 2022, held separate phone calls Thursday with both Presidents Putin and Zelenskyy.

Zelensky said he and Erdogan "discussed security cooperation" between their two countries and "nuclear safety issues, in particular the situation at ZNPP (Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station)." 


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