Zelensky 'grateful' as US, allies send howitzers, helicopters to Ukraine
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the US and its allies for new military aid
The US and other NATO members are sending more than $1 billion in new military gear
The combined package includes howitzers and helicopters
After weeks of pleading for more military aid from the West in the war against Russia, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his gratitude to the United States after President Joe Biden announced a $1 billion package for the war-torn eastern European country.
"The United States announced new strengthening of our defence, a new $1 billion support package. I am grateful for this support, it is especially important for our defence in [the eastern region of] Donbas," Zelensky was quoted as saying by AFP during an evening address.
As part of Biden's new package, Ukraine will receive 18 howitzers and 36,000 howitzer rounds, 18 tactical vehicles for towing the artillery, ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), and more funding among other things.
Zelensky also went on to thank the US for "leadership in mobilising the help of all partners," referring to aid from other NATO members.
The 44-year-old went on to say that he and Biden had discussed "the tactical situation on the battlefield and how to accelerate our victory," adding that he had also had a phone conversation with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
"Every day I fight for Ukraine to get the necessary weapons and equipment. But courage, wisdom and tactical skills cannot be imported. And our heroes have those," Zelensky concluded.
The additional artillery from the US, Canada, Germany, and Poland, as well as helicopters from Slovakia, will come as a massive boost to Ukraine, which is holding off a strong and focussed Russian offensive in the eastern Donbas region of the country.
With Russia having failed to achieve any sort of victory in the initial stages of the war, Western military intelligence suggests that the war in Ukraine is at a critical stage and that the fate of the Donbas could determine the long-term outcome of the conflict.