Foreign weapons ‘already at the front’, says Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister

President Joe Biden speaks about security assistance to Ukraine during a visit to the Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations facility, where they manufacture Javelin anti-tank missiles on May 3 in Troy, Alabama. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar says weapons supplied to Kiev by the US and other partners are already being deployed on the front lines.

“Except for the Javelins and Stingers, 155mm US howitzers are already being used at the front,” Maliar said at a briefing on Wednesday.

“We are working to accelerate the pace of aid because this is the life of our soldiers.”

A senior US defense official told reporters on Tuesday that 89 of the 90 Howitzers the US would give to Ukraine have been turned over in Ukrainian possession.

Maliar said the supply of foreign weapons had become routine, despite Russian efforts to destroy transport infrastructure.

“We have already received a large number of weapons. But now we have entered the period of rhythmic arms supply to Ukraine,” she added.

She also suggested that new arrangements would help Ukraine sustain a longer conflict.

“A loan package is currently being considered. We get support from the European Union and other countries,” she said.

That is, we are entering a new phase of the war. Russia is pushing itself to a state where it will not be able to win ‘the war of equipment’.
“But until this win comes, we’re going to have some tough weeks, and maybe even months,” she said.

Maliar also said Ukrainian production lines were ramping up.

“We are strategically committed to developing our own production. Manufacturers are already being loaded with military orders until the end of the year. In addition, the Ministry of Defense buys protective equipment from abroad,” she says.

In the first 10 days of May, Ukrainian armed forces had received more than 34,000 body armor, she said.

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