Third air shipment of US military aid lands in Kyiv, carrying Javelin tank-killer missiles
Amid the continued Russian military buildup on the Russian-Ukrainian border and fears of invasion, a third U.S. plane carrying lethal weapons – part of a 200-million-dollar military aid package aimed at shoring up Ukraine’s defenses – landed in Ukraine late on Jan. 25.
“We expect the arrival of the 4th of a big flock of birds,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov tweeted before the U.S. plane landed. He added that the plane was carrying Javelin anti-tank missiles and launchers.
According to U.S. television news channel CNN, the White House is increasingly certain of further Russian military aggression against Ukraine and may decide to ramp up its military support for the country.
On Jan. 18 the UK also sent Ukraine military aid, which included light anti-armor weapons.
Dutch authorities have also said they are ready to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities by sending weapons.
Moreover, on Jan. 21, the defense ministers from the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia released a joint statement on sending weapons to Ukraine in light of a possible Russian invasion. Latvia and Lithuania are planning to send Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, while Estonia is sending Javelin anti-tank missiles, together with related equipment.
Since the end of Oct. 2021, Russia has been massing troops to the Ukrainian borders. Russia has since deployed more than 127,000 troops and offensive weapons near the Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the latest intelligence estimate from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine provided to CNN this week.
International media have speculated that Russia may invade Ukraine in early 2022, in an operation that could involve up to 200,000 Russian soldiers.
The Kremlin says the troop movements are an internal affair of Russia. At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of planning “provocations,” and alleged that Kyiv plans to regain control of the occupied territories by military means. The Kremlin has failed to back up any of its allegations with evidence, however.
Russian troops have also been deployed to Belarus, as part of previously unscheduled military exercises. However, Russian equipment has been spotted along the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, far from the area where the unscheduled exercise was announced to take place.
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