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28 Jun, 2023 14:17

Pentagon to send more Bradleys to Ukraine

Russian troops have reportedly destroyed at least 15% of Kiev’s US-supplied infantry fighting vehicles already
Pentagon to send more Bradleys to Ukraine

The US Department of Defense announced a new package of weapons for Ukraine on Tuesday, including 30 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles. More than a dozen of the armored vehicles have reportedly been damaged or destroyed since Kiev launched its counteroffensive against Russian forces earlier this month.

Valued at up to $500 million, the package is the 41st tranche of military aid doled out to Kiev since Russia’s military operation began last February. Apart from the Bradleys, it includes 25 Stryker Armored Personnel Carriers, 155mm artillery ammunition, Patriot anti-air missiles, mine- and obstacle-clearing equipment, according to a statement from the Pentagon.

The announcement came just under a month into Ukraine’s counteroffensive, which has met stiff resistance from entrenched Russian troops. During repeated assaults through minefields and without air support, Kiev lost more than 13,000 troops, as well as 246 tanks and 152 infantry fighting vehicles, between June 4 and 21, according to figures from the Russian Security Council.

Videos showing wrecked Bradleys and German-supplied Leopard 2 tanks have circulated online, and American officials admitted to the New York Times this week that 17 of the 113 Bradleys supplied to Ukraine by that point had been damaged or destroyed. With no significant territorial gains to show for its losses, an anonymous US official called the counteroffensive “behind schedule.”

The latest arms package is the second such delivery announced in less than two weeks. A package announced on June 13 included 15 Bradleys, in addition to the usual complement of anti-air missiles and artillery shells. 

Russian forces are “debunking the myths about the ‘unsurpassed quality’ of American and NATO weapons” on a daily basis, Moscow’s embassy in Washington claimed in a statement on Tuesday, pointing to the “mangled machinery smoking on the fields of Donbass.”

“With further deliveries of military equipment, Washington only confirms its obsession with the idea of inflicting a strategic defeat on the Russian Federation,” the embassy continued. “To do this, [it] pushes its clients towards more and more desperate adventures. The lives of Ukrainians mean nothing to the American authorities.”

As of Tuesday, the US has committed more than $40.5 billion in direct military aid to Ukraine since last February. President Joe Biden has promised to maintain this “unwavering support” for Kiev, despite reports that American officials are demanding a successful counteroffensive to justify continued arms supplies to Kiev.