Ukraine asks NATO to send western, not Soviet-era weapons
April 7, 2022
Statement by the Ukraine Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikow to partner states
It has been 42 days since Russia's large-scale attack on Ukraine.
Today I want to address all the friends and partners of our people.
And talk about what's happening.
Contrary to many predictions, Russia has failed to break through our defences in three or 30 days. On the contrary.
Our soldiers inflicted enormous losses on the enemy and thwarted his plans. In manpower alone Russia has already lost 19,000 soldiers. As well as 150 aircraft, 135 helicopters, 700 tanks and almost 1,900 armoured vehicles.
The Russian occupiers were driven out of our capital, Kyiv. The liberation from Russian soldiers of Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy regions is coming to an end.
But the situation remains extremely difficult. Especially in the south and east of our country. Russia is concentrating forces for a powerful attack.
Ukraine won the first round of the war, when intense contact battles were fought with the use of landing operations, infantry and armoured vehicles. Because our army is well trained and extremely motivated. One of our fighters is fighting 10 Russians.
We managed to stop Russia largely thanks to the weapons we received from our partners. I want to thank you for that.
However, Russia drew conclusions and changed tactics. It transforms the conflict into a protracted phase and another format.
The number of contact battles is decreasing. The enemy strikes missiles, uses aircraft, uses MLRS systems and long-range artillery. Destroys our peaceful cities. The shelling is carried out from the territory of Russia, Belarus, as well as the Black and Azov Seas.
Under such conditions, the war enters a phase of competition for resources. Which in Russia are almost endless, compared to Ukraine. To win such a war, we need different help than what we have been receiving before.
We want to liberate the enemy-occupied territories as soon as possible. After all, the whole world saw the atrocities committed by the Russian army in Bucha and other suburbs of Kyiv. We need to save our people from genocide.
To do this, we need other weapons.
First, we need air defence systems and combat aircraft to protect our citizens and our army from missiles and air strikes.
Secondly, we need long-range weapons. These are Long-Range Artillery Missile complexes, MLRS and heavy artillery. This will keep the enemy at a distance without letting him into our cities.
Third, we need tanks and armoured vehicles to break through the occupiers' defences and liberate the occupied territories.
Fourth, we need anti-ship missiles. To destroy the enemy fleet and unblock ports on the Black Sea. After all, without ports we will not be able to trade, including food. Which will cause a global food crisis.
Fifth, we need reconnaissance and strike drones.
Moreover, there is a very important nuance.
Previously, we focused on obtaining Soviet-style weapons. This is a logical decision, because these weapons can go into battle right away, we know how to use it. It will quickly strengthen our defence in the critical period.
But the Soviet weapons we need are scarce. They are often in poor condition, because they were made 30-40 years ago. There is not enough ammunition. Under such conditions, the Soviet weapons we have received will strengthen Ukraine only for a short time.
That is why Ukraine needs to get the weapons used by NATO countries as soon as possible. This is the best solution for many reasons.
First, it will be a powerful signal to Russia that it will not succeed in depleting the Ukrainian army. On the contrary, the cost of war for Moscow will increase dramatically. The Ukrainian army will be able to put up effective resistance. This will be the best incentive to de-escalate and seek peace.
Secondly, it will further increase the interoperability of Ukrainian army with the armies of European countries. This will strengthen NATO's eastern flank. I am sure that no one has any doubts that Ukraine can be a donor of European security. We proved it. Investing in our army is the best defence investment imaginable.
Third, there is sufficient quantity of NATO-made equipment and it is equipped with ammunition. For example, 155 mm calibre artillery is used in different countries. There will be no shortage of shells, as compared with the Soviet systems. This will not be a short-term, but a systemic solution.
Fourth, many countries will be able to transfer these weapons in different ways. Some are already removing the combat duty systems we need, replacing them with more modern ones. Others just need the permission of the country of origin.
The Ukrainian military is quickly acquiring new weapons. They have already shown that they are able to use Western complexes extremely effectively in combat conditions. Proof of this are the losses of the enemy, which I mentioned at the beginning.
We urge you to provide us with heavy weapons as soon as possible.
Russia's leaders are war criminals. This is recognized by all. When they suffer a military defeat, they will immediately lose power.
We are not afraid of Russia and are able to defeat it. We want to destroy the murderers, rapists and looters who have brought us unbridled pain.
This is a chance for the world to get rid of a cruel tyranny.
Procrastination with the provision of weapons leads to the death of our children, to the depletion of our country. It is also depleting Europe.
We need to act. If we do not stop Putin, he will come to you