Sunday, January 22, 2023

A Crucial Moment for Ukraine; Strykers, Bradleys Likely in Huge US Aid Package for Ukraine; US: Russia Does Not Fully Control Soledar or Bakhmut, Fighting Continues; Group of 9 Countries Pledge Military Aid for Ukraine, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

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WSJ: A Crucial Moment for Ukraine
NATO’s reluctance to provide battle tanks reveals the West’s ambivalence about helping Kyiv emerge victorious
Western governments are applauding themselves for helping Ukraine resist Russia’s invasion, and some credit is certainly due. But as the war’s first anniversary looms, so does a new moment of decision: Will the U.S. and Europe let the war grind on as a brutal stalemate, or will they provide enough military aid so Ukraine can take back its territory and win the war?
That’s the strategic choice, unspoken publicly but looming in the background, as Ukraine’s allies meet Friday at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. The Ukraine Defense Contact Group includes 50 governments, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley will attend. Their decisions will set the terms of war from the Ukrainian side for the rest of the winter and beyond.
The Ukrainians have put up an heroic fight and retaken some of the territory Russia grabbed early in the war. But the bitter truth is that Vladimir Putin shows no sign of letting up despite his humiliating setbacks. Mr. Putin is venting his frustration by lobbing missiles at apartment buildings, with one in Dnipro killing 40 people, including children, this week. American Patriot missile defenses are still weeks or months from arriving, as Ukrainian troops train on the system in Oklahoma.
Russia may be gearing up for another offensive. The Institute for the Study of War warned this week that Russia is “preparing to conduct a decisive strategic action in the next six months,” perhaps in an attempt to overrun Luhansk Oblast in the east.
Mr. Putin may also expand his conventional force to 1.5 million troops, up from 1.35 million now. He is working to revive Moscow’s ability to produce weapons and calling every dictator in his Rolodex for arms. Russian casualties are of no great consequence to him. He thinks that, as the war drags on, he can outlast Western support for Kyiv and still emerge with much of Ukraine under his control. --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo/Michael Probst, File
Strykers, Bradleys likely in Huge US Aid Package for Ukraine:
The U.S. is finalizing a massive package of military aid for Ukraine that U.S. officials say is likely to total as much as $2.6 billion. It’s expected to include for the first time nearly 100 Stryker combat vehicles and at least 50 Bradley armored vehicles to allow Ukrainian forces to move more quickly and securely on the front lines in the war with Russia — but not the tanks that Ukraine has sought.
The officials said the numbers could change as the Biden administration goes through final deliberations on the package. An announcement is expected this week when defense leaders from the U.S., Europe and other regions gather in Germany to discuss military support for Ukraine. The aid is also expected to include thousands of rounds of ammunition, including rockets for air defense systems.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the aid has not yet been made public.
The decision to send the Strykers, which could be delivered within weeks, comes on the heels of announcements by the British to send Ukraine battle tanks, which have long been sought by Ukrainian leaders. The Strykers and Bradleys are armored personnel carriers.
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl told reporters Wednesday that a new phase of the war is shaping up as Russia gets more deeply entrenched, and that Ukraine will need mechanized infantry to break through those lines.
“The Russians are really digging in. They’re digging in. They’re digging trenches, they’re putting in these dragon’s teeth, laying mines. They’re really trying to fortify that that FLOT, that forward line of troops,” Kahl said. “To enable the Ukrainians to break through given Russian defenses, the emphasis has been shifted to enabling them to combine fire and maneuver in a way that will prove to be more effective.”
Speaking at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told political leaders that Western supplies of weapons must outpace Russia’s attacks, urging the world to move faster because “tragedies are outpacing life; the tyranny is outpacing democracy.” --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

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