“Stocks of Soviet-era weapons dwindle, but Russian aggression does not,” said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
Ukraine’s stock of Soviet-era weaponry is fast diminishing, requiring Ukraine to shift to modern weapon platforms, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Thursday. “Stocks of Soviet-era weapons dwindle, but Russian aggression does not,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter. “This is why Ukraine shifts to modern equipment. Training is required, but we are fast learners. In fact, we learn to operate modern weapons faster than it takes some governments to decide upon providing them.” While Ukraine is not forthcoming about its losses, Russia says that it has destroyed 146 Ukrainian warplanes, 112 helicopters, 712 drones, 287 air defense systems, 2,817 Ukrainian tanks and armored vehicles, and 323 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), 1,292 artillery pieces and 2,624 other ground vehicles. Open-source intelligence analysts, keeping track of casualties with visual verification, often put the losses lower than Russian estimates. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has also emphasized the need for more equipment, saying in an address on Wednesday that “in some territories, we are blocked by the Russian military and equipment. There we are waiting for the appropriate equipment to appear on our site, so we can push and move forward.” Both the flow of equipment and the training to use the gear has been of significant focus for US defense officials. “We’re focused right now every day, including this day on making sure that we can give the Ukrainians the tools and the weapons that they need as well as the training that may be required with some of those tools to succeed,” said Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby on Thursday. “The flow into the region continues at an incredible pace and the flow of materials from the region into Ukraine also continues every single day,” said Kirby. “We know that because we talk to the Ukrainians every single day, we know that that material, those weapons, those systems are getting into Ukrainian hands.”