Arms to Ukraine: this is how Italy and the West help Zelensky

Of Guido Olimpio

The Ukrainian president has asked for even more military aid. The US has allocated another 350 million, but the diplomatic unknown about Moscow’s reaction remains

Ukrainian President Zelensky has asked for weapons and ammunition. Supporting governments have promised new supplies, in addition to those sent in recent weeks. But what weapons are we talking about? And how much do you help?

Let’s get down to the concrete.

The United States they have allocated $ 350 million for military aid and $ 250 for other civilian material, a portion of the billion offered.

The Czech Republic has announced an 8.6 million dollar package. Includes ammo, sniper rifles, machine guns, optical systems. Equipment following 1,200 artillery shells given in January.

There Slovakia it will deliver 12,000 in turn, along with tons of fuel.

Germany, breaking the hesitation, has ordered the transfer of 1000 RPG (anti-tank) rocket launchers and 500 surface-to-air missiles. Just a few days ago she was targeted for offering just 5,000 helmets compared to the 100,000 requested.

Also there France she is ready to do her part.

The Belgium will ship 3,000 machine guns and gasoline.

L’Italy is preparing to give the green light to the sending of war material: the list of aid is being defined in these hours but it would concern anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft weapons and machine guns. (Rome has also announced that from tomorrow it will strengthen its presence in Romania to defend NATO’s “east flank”.

While the EU foreign ministers will evaluate the activation of the European Peace Facility, a budget with which to finance support to Kiev in the security field. It is not clear, however, whether it will also include “lethal” material.

There have always been triangulations. For now, the Netherlands has planned to send 200 Stinger (anti-aircraft) missiles. London confirmed new shipments. It is a shared message with over 20 states involved. To assist the defenders, an adequate logistic network is needed. At the time of the Soviet presence in Afghanistan there was the Pakistani rear, from here passed the path to feed the guerrilla struggle. Now this function could be carried out by Poland, as sources from Washington have already indicated. It is a neighboring state and a few thousand US soldiers are present here, including parah departments.

But what kind of weapons can be sent? For sure counter-tank systems to slow down the march of the Russian columns. An indispensable use in this phase but which will become even more important in the case of a guerrilla activity. This was clearly seen in Syria: before the decisive Russian-Iranian intervention, the Tow missile launchers, delivered through complicated channels, decimated Assad’s armored units. They are mobile, they can be hidden and carried.

They do not change the balance of forces, they serve to make life difficult for the occupant. No less important are mortars, communications radios, explosives, mines and night visors (to take advantage of more favorable conditions). And again the portable anti-aircraft missiles, to counter the helicopters, as always happened in the Afghan theater. Ukraine already owns many of these “pieces”, and large quantities of anti-tank Javelin have arrived. Nothing secret as on social networks it is full of photos of the cargoes, fans have tracked them on Twitter, even compiling lists. But stocks run out quickly.

The Russians, then, have their own countermeasures. Passive, electronic, tactics. The images showed that in the Army formations there are numerous devices to parry the threat of explosive devices. The helicopters that participated in the operation on Hostomel airport launched “flares” to confuse the missiles. Putin’s soldiers – at least the most trained ones – should know the risks, the General Staff knows, difficult to assess the impact for the many recruits to their baptism of fire. Some observers noted a lot of caution, little initiative, a tendency to remain closed in the busways.

Finally, there are diplomatic nodes. Sending weapons through neighboring states is, however, an involvement in the conflict. How will Moscow react? You could threaten retaliation. Joe Biden ruled out any direct US military engagement, he solemnly declared it to the nation. Does the promise also cover covered activities of the CIA? In 2015, intelligence launched an assistance program for Ukrainian special troops: has that thread been interrupted? Hard to believe. Recent history has it that everyone uses clandestine action. Moscow, Washington, Jerusalem, Tehran. It is in things. Attract leaders. Because sometimes it’s the only possible way, even if you don’t know where it can lead you.


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