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Ukraine“s top general outlines “urgent needs“ in talks with U.S. military chief

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2023-01-17T17:32:26Z

U.S. Joint Chiefs Chair Army General Mark Milley speaks during a news briefing after participating a virtual Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

Ukraine’s top general said he had outlined the “urgent needs” of his armed forces on Tuesday at a first personal meeting with the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, in Poland.

Ukraine is pushing to secure a fleet of modern battle tanks from Western countries that it hopes to use to drive out Russian forces which invaded last February, capturing swathes of territory in the south and east.

“I outlined the urgent needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the fulfilment of which will accelerate our Victory,” General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi wrote in a statement on Telegram.

In an interview with the Economist in December, Zaluzhnyi said he needed 300 tanks, 600-700 infantry fighting vehicles and 500 howitzers to help his forces push back the invaders.

“I know that I can beat this enemy. But I need resources,” he said.

The United States has been by far the biggest supplier of military assistance for Kyiv during the war.

Western allies are scheduled to meet at a U.S. airbase in Germany on Friday to pledge military support for Ukraine, with the focus on proposals to provide modern battle tanks.

German-made Leopard tanks, held by armies across Europe, are seen as the most likely option to be sent in large numbers, but they cannot be re-exported to Ukraine without Berlin’s approval.

In his statement, Zaluzhnyi said he thanked Milley for “the unwavering support and assistance provided by the United States of America and allies to Ukraine”.


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