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Ukrainian, US top defense officials discuss Kyiv's weapon supply needs ahead of spring counteroffensive
President Volodymyr Zelensky's chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, reported on March 18 that he, along with Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, and other defense officials, had held a video call with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley.
According to Yermak, Ukrainian officials informed their U.S. allies about the current situation on the front line, combat operations in the most challenging areas, and the “urgent needs” of the Ukrainian military.
“We discussed the further supply of necessary assistance to our country, particularly (military) equipment, weapons, and ammunition,” Yermak wrote on Telegram.
According to Yermak, Zelensky joined the call at the end, “sharing his thoughts on liberating the Ukrainian lands from the Russian troops.”
Earlier on March 16, Austin said that “Ukraine doesn't have any time to waste” ahead of the country’s upcoming counteroffensive.
“We have to deliver swiftly and fully on our promised commitments,” Austin said, as quoted by Politico. “That includes delivering our armored capabilities to the battlefield and ensuring that Ukrainian soldiers get the training, spare parts, and maintenance support they need to use these new systems as soon as possible.”
Austin also confirmed that nine countries had pledged a total of 150 tanks to Ukraine so far, and the tank coalition was in the process of growing.