Italian weapons supplied to Ukraine not battle-ready – FT
Some of the military hardware given to Ukraine by Italy earlier this year was not delivered in combat-ready condition, the Financial Times reported on Saturday. Citing an anonymous adviser to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, the paper reported that not one of the 20 self-propelled howitzers Rome provided to Kiev was suitable for immediate use.
Earlier this week, a top adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky revealed that the country needs even more weapons for an anticipated counter-offensive to be successful.
The outlet also noted that Kiev’s attempts to persuade the US to supply it with longer-range missiles and F-16 fighter jets have so far been in vain.
According to the report, if the Ukrainian counteroffensive fails to live up to expectations in the West, critics in the US and elsewhere will question the feasibility of further military support. Western governments could eventually decide to force Kiev to accept a negotiated settlement, the Times said.
The newspaper concluded that securing major territorial gains against the Russian forces would likely be a tall order for Kiev.
On Wednesday, President Zelensky’s senior aide, Mikhail Podoliak, insisted that Ukraine still needs more weaponry and equipment, contradicting the US commander of NATO forces in Europe, General Christopher Cavoli, who claimed before the House Armed Services Committee that Kiev’s backers had already delivered 98% of the combat vehicles promised to Ukraine.
Last week, Foreign Policy magazine reported that the German-made Leopard tanks given to Ukraine by eight countries would likely pose a logistical challenge to Kiev’s military. The hardware reportedly uses a range of different munitions, meaning Ukraine would not be able to procure the ammunition in bulk.
The Abrams tanks which Washington pledged to provide Kiev earlier this year will likely take months to actually arrive on the battlefield.