Ukraine’s top negotiator says ‘world was not prepared for a battle of this scale’

Ukrainian police officers document the destruction in Kharkiv on May 16, 2022 at Europe’s largest clothing market “Barbashvovo” (over 75 hectares), which was destroyed as a result of shelling amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sergei Bobok | AFP | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – The Ukrainian negotiator leading the now stalled talks with Russian officials called on the US and NATO allies to supply additional weapons to Kyiv, citing a lack of progress in mediating a peace treaty with Moscow.

“Once or twice a week we call each other and they check in and ask what’s going on, but both sides clearly know there’s no room for talks right now,” Ukraine David Arkhamia, the leader of Kiev’s parliament and Kyiv’s majority, explained the top negotiator.

Arkhamia, who sat down with reporters at the German Marshall Fund in Washington, DC, to share updates on her discussions with Biden administration officials and lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said Ukraine simply needs more weapons and more sanctions against Russia. Is.

Arkhamia said, “They backed out and regrouped and now they’re fighting in a very different way. I would say it’s a much better approach because the logistics are now in place.”

In the weeks following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, Russian forces on the ground were surrounded with a Logistic problems on the battlefieldIncluding reports of fuel and food shortages.

Arkhamia said that Ukraine’s fight against Russia had turned into a “battle of the distance” and therefore needed long-range artillery, drones, jammers and radars to counter Russia’s vast arsenal of medium-range ballistic missiles and long-range missiles. Continuous supply will be required. Rocket.

“There is no region in Ukraine that is considered completely safe because they have missiles of a range that allows them to hit any target throughout Ukraine,” Arkhamia said.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday Announced another $ 1 billion in weapons for Ukraine, anti-ship systems, including rounds for artillery rockets and howitzers. Since the February 24 invasion of the Kremlin, its former Soviet neighbor, the US has pledged $5.6 billion in security aid to Ukraine.

latest security package, 12th such installmentIt comes as Russian forces intensify their attacks in Ukraine’s Donbass region.

Heavy artillery platforms rank high on the Ukrainian military wish list. To date, the Pentagon has transferred 126 155 mm howitzer artillery systems from the US Army and US Marine Corps stockpiles to Ukrainian forces. Along with the howitzers, the US has also sent about 260,000 guns.

The Pentagon also recently committed the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HMARS, built by the defense giant Lockheed Martin, HMARS is designed to shoot a variety of missiles from mobile 5-ton trucks.

Ukrainian service members fire a shot from an M777 howitzer near the frontline, continuing Russia’s attack on Ukraine in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, June 6, 2022.

stringer | Reuters

Arkhamia said that Ukraine’s military is rapidly running out of ammunition and artillery shells for heavy artillery platforms supplied by the United States.

“The delivery of 150,000 shells, which is considered a huge shipment, is just a month of war,” he said, adding that “when the fighting intensifies, we can use half a million shells a month. “

Arkhamia said that after large shipments of rounds of ammunition and artillery, some NATO allies are unwilling to re-supply and ship to Ukraine.

“They want to defend their countries, which is understandable to us,” he said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threats to escalate the war in Ukraine to Europe.

“The world was not prepared for a battle of this scale,” Arkhamia said.