Ukraine sends new arms ‘wish list’ to US – media
Ukraine has sent to Washington its latest wish list of materiel for fighting against Russia, CNN has reported, while claiming to have seen the document. Kiev is said to have requested reconnaissance and attack drones, tactical radars, electronic warfare anti-drone systems and close-air support aircraft, in a communique this week.
Ukraine has delivered several wish lists to the Americans since last month. One recent appeal asked for 1,000 man-portable anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles per day.
The new bid outlines 17 priority items, including Switchblade kamikaze drones. The UAVs were included in President Joe Biden’s $800 million military aid package announced on March 16.
The military planes requested by Kiev are Sukhoi Su-25s – jets originally produced by the USSR and later Russia. Ukraine inherited dozens of that type of aircraft during the collapse of the Soviet Union, but reportedly had just 17 still operational as of last year.
CNN said, among other things, that Kiev is now seeking artillery systems, anti-ship missiles, optical surveillance equipment and planes to transport weapons. It also wants neighboring countries to provide logistical support to its armed forces by treating its wounded and repairing its damaged military hardware.
Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of those regions within the Ukrainian state.
Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.