New Delhi: As Russia continues its assault on Ukraine, NATO countries have stepped up efforts to send military aid to the eastern European nation.
According to reports, Stinger air defence missiles, Javelin anti tank missiles, rocket launchers, guns and ammunition, as well as helmets have been lined up near Ukraine’s borders.
Military aid by the US, which included Javelin and Stinger missiles, is part of the $350 million defence aid package that was announced by President Joe Biden to Ukraine last week.
US officials were quoted by The New York Times as saying that the weaponry was being “flown to neighboring countries like Poland and Romania and then shipped over land into western Ukraine to commanders for distribution across the country”.
“Kremlin watchers have also been surprised by this, and how they have slowed the Russian advance and performed extremely well on the battlefield,” a senior Pentagon official told NYT.
The official also said a special coordination cell has been managing the weapons and equipment from the US and 14 other nations, including the UK, Canada and Lithuania.
ThePrint had earlier reported NATO’s announcement that it will deploy its Response Force — for the first time ever — as it uploaded a video explainer about the force, after days of initial hesitation and fears of further escalation.
Turkish drones, machine guns & sniper rifles
Other member nations such as Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, France, Czech Republic and Lithuania have also started providing Ukraine with arms and ammunition systems.
These include rocket launchers from the Netherlands, Javelins from Estonia, Stinger surface-to-air missiles from Germany, Poland and Latvia, and machine guns as well as sniper rifles from Czech Republic.
The German government was also considering supplying 2,700 anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, reported Reuters.
Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov had also announced that Turkish drones were on its way to the country. “New Bayraktars have already arrived in Ukraine and are on combat duty. There will be more Stingers and Javelins.”
Bayraktars are drones made by Turkish company Baykar. It can carry anti-tank missiles as well as small bombs and is capable of being airborne for more than 24 hours.
Source: The Print