Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov:
The amount of feedback in the public space from our soldiers who have gained experience in using foreign-made heavy artillery is growing. I am glad that a lion’s share of this feedback is extremely positive. Thanks to the skill of our defenders, the russian occupiers are receiving a rebuff they did not expect.
Let me remind you that three types of 155-mm artillery are already working successfully on the front lines: M777 howitzers, FH70 howitzers and CAESAR SPHs. It was simply impossible to imagine this back in March. But today it is already a reality which materialized due to great teamwork led by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
I am also happy to announce the news: the 155-mm artillery pool is being replenished.
Ukraine has already received M109 SPHs in one of its modifications. This equipment is of very high quality. Its supply was the result of cooperation between several countries.
I would also like to inform that the coastal defence of our country will not only be strengthened by Harpoon missiles – they will be used by trained Ukrainian teams. I am confident that the military brotherhood of Harpoons and our Neptunes will help us liberate and make our Black Sea safe again, as well as reliably protect Odessa.
The supply of these missiles was also the result of cooperation between several countries. It allowed us to receive the Harpoons from Danish partners with the participation of our British friends. I have repeatedly noted British leadership and the special efforts of my friend and colleague, a great friend of Ukraine Ben Wallace.
Among the latest supplies I would like to point out over 100 American UAVs of various types.
Like any minister in my position, I wish I had many more weapons and as soon as possible. Because the lives of our people are at stake.
At the same time, we must understand: in the last month and a half, for instance, we have received more NATO-standard artillery shells than there are Soviet shells available!
The important thing is that we have already obtained more than all the plants of our allied countries can produce in 6 month (where there are still production lines of Soviet-type ammo). And we will obtain more because the number of artillery weapons will keep growing.
The strategic decision to switch to NATO-type heavy weaponry already has a concrete dimension. The cooperation of partnership states that provide Ukraine with weapons and equipment is already unprecedented.
In every comment on weapons and on the support of Ukraine as a whole I thank my fellow defence ministers. This is not just mere politeness. It is a clear indication that Ukraine is not alone.
Drastic changes, the main results of which still lie ahead, were made possible due to the outstanding leadership of the United States of America. The position of our American friends allowed the free world to realize the real goal: the kremlin must be vanquished, not just stopped.
I have already mentioned that in Warsaw I had the honor to attend a meeting with the US President Joe Biden, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and a great friend of Ukraine with whom we are in close contact and whose contribution I greatly value: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III.
At that meeting, President Biden clearly outlined the strategic approach and decision-making criteria on weapons. The respective decisions must simultaneously give Ukraine real reinforcement on the front lines, not disturb the unity of US allies, consider practical possibilities of assistance (i.e., certain weapons must be in stock) and be of systematic rather than sporadic nature.
That is the logic that guides our activities. It is supported by our partners. The abovementioned unprecedented cooperation proves that.
However, it is our people who are taking the blow, not the weaponry. We have seen examples when modern weapons and equipment failed to make a difference if people did not want to fight for their country. Instead, the Ukrainian army has shown mass heroism combined with high professionalism, while the entire Ukrainian nation has shown remarkable resilience.
The days, hours and minutes of the recent weeks are passing slower than ever in my life. Because we are forced to wait. To wait and at the same time fight for increased quantities and the expansion of artillery range which we will receive and report on very soon. We are waiting for new batches, knowing that they are already being loaded and that our soldiers have started practicing on the training grounds.
Despite all this, I look to the future with optimism. After all, Ukraine will still win.