US’s “newest” weapons will help change the war, Ukrainian ambassador says

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A flurry of new Western weapons aimed at Ukraine will set an important precedent for expanding NATO support for Kiev in 2023, one of the country’s top ambassadors said, as Ukraine’s leaders try to win over Russia next year.

This was announced by the Ambassador of Ukraine to Great Britain, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Vadym Prystaiko. Newsweek The Ukrainian embassy in London has been told that a shift from Western military aid to advanced weapons is essential to avoid an inevitable and frozen conflict.

“Let’s deal with all this with a concerted effort and see what it can do,” Prystaiko – Ukraine’s head of mission to NATO and ambassador to Canada – said of the aid. a foreigner. He warned that the new drip weapon would be less effective.

“Perhaps it will be a breakthrough somewhere in the south, or the entire front will move thanks to additional artillery guns and tanks. It is enough for the Russians to decide.”

Ambassador of Ukraine to Great Britain Vadym Prystaiko will participate in the “Labour Friends of Ukraine” event held in Liverpool on September 25, 2022. “As more Western weapons are sent to Ukraine, Russia may finally decide ‘enough’ is enough,” he told Newsweek.
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

This week, Ukraine received a commitment from the US, France and Germany to send dozens of Bradley, AMX-10 RC and Marder armored infantry fighting vehicles, respectively, to help its defense forces.

Germany also announced that it will send the US-made Patriot surface-to-air missile platform, which will be connected to the first Patriot system provided by the US, with Ukrainian operators being trained. Patriot is the most expensive single system sent to Ukraine so far.

Prystaiko said the arrival of the Patriots could help move the needle on other marker systems, such as main battle tanks and fighter jets, that the West has so far been reluctant to deliver.

“We didn’t expect the Patriot system,” he said. “Frankly, this is a high-end anti-ballistic missile system, which was completely impossible. I think tanks, helicopters and even planes are much easier now.”

This gradual evolution of military aid, he said, was a “natural course.” He said that the artillery systems sent to Ukraine “will be towed first, and then self-propelled.”

“What is the difference between a self-propelled artillery and a tank?” He asked. “What is the biggest insurmountable difference?” There is none. That’s why they come.”

Ukraine and its NATO partners, he continued, should be ready to accept such platforms immediately. “Now let’s prepare our riders and mechanics. People listen to us and understand us.”

Study missions abroad were very valuable for Ukraine, he said. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers are undergoing training in Europe and the United States

“First, it allows us to take some of the burden off our shoulders, so we don’t have to worry about our troops being ready,” Prystaiko said. “Secondly, the security of the exercises has increased a bit because the Russians occasionally try to strike these bases deep in the West where we train our recruits.

On November 9, 2022, Ukrainian soldiers are participating in training in Great Britain.
ANDY COMMINS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

“Thirdly, we get to know NATO culture more. So we’re becoming interactive because we’re doing it on the ground. So whether the political solution is here or not, I am sure that we will be part of NATO. People just have to get used to it,” he says.

Western partners have not yet opened up their former military assets to the extent that Ukraine would like. Kyiv wants more air defense platforms, main battle tanks, fighter jets and long-range munitions than NATO weapons, such as the Highly Mobile Artillery Missile System, or HIMARS.

USA Patriot SAM in Croatia during training
Ukraine will receive two Patriot surface-to-air missile systems from its NATO partners in the coming months (shown above during a 2021 exercise in Croatia).
Sergeant. Alexandra Shea / US Army Europe and Africa

“There are some interesting trends of a purely political nature,” said Prystaiko, delaying this weapon. “It is very difficult for some of them to overcome this tension,” he said of some of Kyiv’s foreign partners. “The Russians threatened to escalate them all.”

He continued: “There is no consensus on this yet. There are many players with different political views on how this will all play out. But it’s the light tanks or the Patriot systems that are the interesting parts. thing”.

In the United States, political figures on the left and right have criticized the scale of American military support for Ukraine, which exceeds 20 billion dollars. Prystaiko dismissed those concerns, saying increased U.S. support would mean more revenue for American businesses and workers.

Most of the items going to Ukraine are relatively old, he said. “Some equipment has an expiration date. We joke that if you want to get rid of it, give it to us. We will send it in the right direction.

“In normal, peaceful times, no one would want him to say such things. But why not now?” he said.

Newsweek contacted the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for clarification.

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