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Zelensky asks for more weapons from NATO

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked allies to increase military aid to help his army in war through the winter.

When Zelensky first visited NATO headquarters after the war in Ukraine had began, he asked the military alliance for air defence equipment, long-range missiles and ammunition as the weather turned cold.

Volodymyr Zelensky has made the address amid fears that fighting in Israel could take all the attention of the US. The Ukrainian president said that his army was ready for combat operations in winter. He said as he addressed the media with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg before meeting alliance defence ministers:

How to survive during this next winter for us is big. We are preparing, we are ready. Now we need some support from the leaders. That’s why I’m here today.

Washington is one of Ukraine’s most influential allies. The United States as a whole have provided about 44bn dollars in security assistance to Ukraine since the start of the war in February 2022. On its own, the US has sent Kyiv as much military might as all European NATO members and Canada combined.

The US has sent an additional $200 million military aid package to Ukraine, which is expected on Wednesday. US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said the package would additionally include air defence missiles. Mr Austin said at the start of the meeting with Ukraine’s international backers:

Make no mistake. The United States will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.

Ukraine’s President has recently expressed fears that the war between Israel and Hamas could distract attention from Ukrainian war. As Ukraine approaches the grim mark of 600 days of war, Mr Zelensky called on the West to rally around the Israeli people, as Kyiv supporters did for Ukraine, and showed them that they were not “alone”.

Britain also pledged about $122 million in new aid, including mine-clearing trucks that Ukraine hopes will help it push through Russian defenses on the front line. Britain also said it would send an additional $86 million in air defense systems under a contract for the MSI-DS Terrahawk Paladin that was previously announced.

NATO officials will hear on Thursday from Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, in a video briefing at the close of the military alliance’s meetings this week. But Mr. Stoltenberg sought to make clear Wednesday morning that Ukraine remained foremost on NATO’s minds.


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