Ukraine’s Ammunition Needs in Focus as Defense Allies Meet


The Ukrainian military’s ammunition needs will likely be high on the agenda Wednesday as U.S. defense leaders convene a meeting of defense officials from nearly 50 countries to discuss what Ukraine needs to fight off a Russian invasion.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is hosting the virtual talks from the Pentagon after several previous rounds saw the Ukraine Defense Contact Group gathering at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

“As we've been doing since the beginning of this campaign, we're continuing to do everything that we can to ensure that we're meeting Ukraine's needs, whether it's ammunition, whether it's air defense, armor,” Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Tuesday.

U.S., European Union and NATO officials have all pledged to boost efforts to both replenish Ukraine’s ammunition stockpiles as well as their own as the fighting in Ukraine grinds on more than a year after Russia launched its full-scale invasion.

“We are constantly considering the supply of ammunition and weapons,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said of meetings with his military leaders.

Zelenskyy said the main focus was on efforts to defend the eastern front line, including the Bakhmut area that has seen months of fierce fighting. He said the clear position of Ukrainian military leaders is to “reinforce this direction, to inflict maximum possible damage upon the occupier.”

Separate from the U.S.-led talks Wednesday, Zelenskyy welcomed Denmark’s announcement of $1 billion in military, humanitarian and economic aid for Ukraine this year.

About two-thirds of the funding is targeted for military aid, with the rest designated for humanitarian efforts, reconstruction and business initiatives.

Zelenskyy tweeted that he was grateful for the move, and that the aid is “a guarantee of bringing our common victory over the aggressor and the return of peace to Europe closer!”

Source: Voice of America