The United States will provide Ukraine with ‘the weapons it needs’ against Russia

A Ukrainian service member holds a Javelin missile system at a frontline position in the northern Kyiv region, Ukraine March 13, 2022. REUTERS / Gleb Garanich /

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WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) – The United States is committed to providing Ukraine with “the weapons it needs” to defend itself against Russia, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday as Ukraine seeks more military assistance from the West.

Sullivan said the Biden administration would send more weapons to Ukraine to prevent Russia from conquering more territory and attacking civilians, attacks that Washington has described as war crimes.

“We want to provide Ukraine with the weapons it needs to repel the Russians to prevent them from taking more cities and towns where they commit these crimes,” Sullivan told ABC News’ “This Week.”

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Moscow has denied allegations of war crimes from Ukraine and Western countries.

Speaking later on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Sullivan said the United States “worked around the clock to supply our own weapons … and organize and coordinate the supply of weapons from many other countries.”

“Weapons arrive every day,” Sullivan said, “including today.”

The United States has sent $ 1.7 billion in military aid to Ukraine since Russia began its invasion on February 24, the White House said last week.

Weapon shipments have included defensive anti-aircraft guns Stinger and anti-tank Javelin missiles as well as ammunition and armor. But US and European leaders are being pressured by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to make heavier weapons and equipment available to engage Russia in the eastern part of the country, where Russia is expected to intensify its military efforts. Read more

In an excerpt from an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” which airs later on Sunday, Zelenskiy expressed skepticism that the United States would supply the weapons he said were needed.

Whether Ukraine can repel the Russian invasion “depends on how quickly we will be helped by the United States. To be honest, whether we will be able to survive depends on this,” Zelenskiy said.

“I have 100% confidence in our people and in our armed forces, but unfortunately I do not trust that we will receive everything we need.”

On Friday, Ukrainian officials said more than 50 people were killed in a missile attack on a train station in the city of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region, where thousands of people had gathered to evacuate.

Russia’s invasion has forced about a quarter of the population of 44 million to leave their homes, turned cities into rubble and killed or wounded thousands.

Moscow has repeatedly denied attacking civilians in what it calls a “special operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” its southern neighbor. Ukraine and Western nations have rejected this as an unfounded pretext for war.

Russia on Saturday appointed a new general to lead its forces in Ukraine, Aleksandr Dvornikov, who had significant military experience in Syria.

Against this background, Sullivan said he expects Dvornikov to approve more brutality against the Ukrainian civilian population.

Republican US Representative Liz Cheney, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Nation”, called on the Biden administration to supply Ukraine with both offensive weapons such as tanks and aircraft and defensive systems such as anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.

“I think we have to do everything Zelenskiy says he needs at this point, given the just incredible fight that they have put off,” she said.

A CBS News poll released Sunday showed widespread support among Americans for sending more weapons to Ukraine.

According to the poll, which was conducted last week when the news of Russian attacks on civilians unfolded, 72% of respondents are in favor of sending more weapons, while 78% support economic sanctions against Russia.

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Reporting by Joel Schectman in Washington and Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Written by James Oliphant; Edited by Mary Milliken and Lisa Shumaker

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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