Russia has not yet slowed down a Western arms express into Ukraine

Washington (AP) – Western weapons are pouring into Ukraine Helped blunt Russia’s initial offensive It seems certain that Ukraine’s rival Donbass will play a key role in the imminent, decisive, war for the region.. Nevertheless, the Russian military is making little progress in stopping it from becoming a historic weapons express.

The U.S. population alone is growing: with more than 12,000 weapons designed to defeat armored vehicles, 1,400 shoulder-fired Stinger missiles and more than 50 million rounds of ammunition, among many others. Dozens of other countries add up in total.

The Biden administration is still preparing a package of diversified military support, with a total of $ 750 million to be announced in the coming days, a U.S. defense official said Tuesday. The official spoke anonymously to discuss plans that have not yet been publicly announced. Additional aid is a sign that the administration wants to continue to expand its support for Ukraine’s war efforts.

These weapons helped defy predictions that the armed Ukrainian army would soon be captured by Russia. They are part of explaining why Russian President Vladimir Putin’s army The attempt to capture Kiev has now been abandonedCapital, and focuses on fighting for eastern and southern Ukraine.

U.S. officials and analysts offer a number of explanations as to why the Russians had so little success in preventing Western weapons from landing in neighboring countries, including Poland. Possible causes: Russia’s failure to take full control of Ukraine’s skies, limiting its use of air power. Moreover, the Russians had difficulty supplying arms and supplies to their own troops in Ukraine.

Some say Moscow’s problem starts at home.

Retired U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis, who was Europe’s top NATO commander from 2009 to 2013, said:

The Russians also face practical obstacles. Robert G. Bell, a longtime NATO official and now professor at the Sam Nun School of International Affairs at the University of Georgia Tech. Bell said exports help Russians hide or disguise themselves in elusive ways. Having a spy network on display ”to indicate the movements of the convoy.

Stephen Fiddle, a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, says: “Stopping this flow of aid is not easy. “Ammunition and shoulder missiles can be transported in trucks that look like other commercial trucks.

“Therefore, the Russians must find the needle in this huge haystack, destroy the weapons and ammunition they are looking for, and not waste rare ammunition on trucks full of printer paper or baby diapers or who knows what.”

Even with this Western help it is uncertain whether Ukraine will eventually win against a large Russian force. The Biden administration has drawn up a stronghold for US troops to fight. Has instead opted for planning international condemnation and sanctionsProvide intelligence, strengthen NATO’s eastern arm and donate weapons to prevent a wider war with Russia.

In mid-March, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybkov said the warships would be targeted.

“We have warned the United States that the smuggling of weapons into Ukraine from many countries is not a dangerous move, but a move to turn the respective convoys into legitimate targets,” he said in televised comments.

But so far the Russians do not seem to have given much priority to the arms embargo, perhaps because their air force is eager to fly into Ukraine’s air defense areas, searching for supply chains during the voyage. They have hit stable sites such as arsenals and fuel depots, but to a limited extent.

On Monday, the Russians claimed to have destroyed four S-300 ground-to-air missiles that gave Ukraine an unspecified European country. Slovakia, a NATO member who shares a border with Ukraine, donated such an organization last week, but denied that it had been destroyed. On Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said long-range missiles were being used to strike two Ukrainian ammunition depots.

As fighting intensifies along the Donbass and perhaps the coastal corridors of the Crimean peninsula linked to Russia, Putin may feel compelled to strike hard at the arsenal that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky has said is essential to his nation’s survival.

Meanwhile, a staggering amount and range of battle supplies are coming in almost daily.

“The purpose and speed of our support to meet Ukraine’s security needs is unprecedented in modern times,” said Pentagon Secretary of State John Kirby. Approximately $ 2.5 billion in arms and other supplies to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration is equivalent to half of Ukraine’s normal defense budget.

An example: The Pentagon claims to have supplied more than 5,000 Javelin missiles, one of the world’s best weapons against tanks and other armored vehicles – and can shoot down even low-flying helicopters. Weighing in at 50 pounds (23 kilograms), the missile, shaped like a rusty dumb bell, is launched by an individual soldier; From its missile tube it flies upwards at a steep angle and lands directly on its target, known as the curve ball shot – whose armor hits the top of the tank where it is weak.

The Pentagon said on Wednesday that it would issue an unspecified number of additional darts by Thursday and that the United States would complete the distribution of 100 armored Switchblade “Comicase” drones this week.

The specific methods used to smuggle US and other Western goods into Ukraine for security reasons are secret, but the basic process is not so. Just this week, the Pentagon reported that two U.S. military cargo planes had arrived in Eastern Europe with items ranging from machine guns and small arms to ammunition and grenades.

There is a similar burden this weekend to complete the $ 800 million aid package approved by President Joe Biden a month ago. Weapons and equipment are loaded, transported in trucks and transported into Ukraine for distribution by Ukrainian soldiers.

Kirby said the material would sometimes reach troops within 48 hours of entering Ukraine.

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