Russian reporter admits Putin forces 'advancing 3cm a day'
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The US has committed more than $18.2billion in weapons and other equipment to Ukraine since the war began on February 24. On Tuesday, Colin Kahl, the under secretary for US defence, claimed that half of Vladimir Putin’s tanks have now been destroyed by Ukraine troops.
Speaking to CNN, he said: “Putin has failed. Russia will emerge from this war weaker than it went in.
“Putin went into this war trying to extinguish Ukraine as an independent, sovereign democratic country. He has failed, and that is not going to change.
“A sovereign, independent, democratic Ukraine is going to endure.”
The extra US funding for Ukraine will include additional air defence tools to help Ukraine better defend itself against escalating Russian missile and drone attacks that have badly damaged the country’s power and water infrastructure.
“We recognise the acute need for air defence at this critical moment when Russia and Russian forces are raining missiles and Iranian drones down on the civilian infrastructure of this country,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said at a press conference in Kyiv last week following a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Mr Sullivan is one of the highest ranking US officials to visit Kyiv, and his trip had not been previously announced for security reasons.
The $400million in aid also includes contracts for 1,100 Phoenix Ghost drones, funding to refurbish 45 tanks and an additional 40 riverine boats.
The Phoenix Ghost drone is an armed “kamikaze drone” that explodes on contact with its target.
The T-72 tanks are being pulled from existing defence industry inventory in the Czech Republic — paid for by The Netherlands — and will have advanced optics, communications and armour packages. They are part of a total package of 90 of the T-72 tanks that will be sent to Ukraine through 2023, the Pentagon said.
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Additional air defence will be provided through Hawk surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles that will be refurbished provided to Ukraine to assist in its air defences against drones.
It came as the UK Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday that that Russian is “fortifying its lines throughout areas of occupation”.
In a statement, the MoD said: “Russia has started constructing defensive structures around the occupied southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol. Two plants are producing concrete pyramidal anti-tank structures, known as dragon’s teeth, for this purpose.
“Dragon’s teeth have likely been installed between Mariupol and Nikolske village; and from northern Mariupol to Staryi Krym village. Mariupol forms part of Russia’s ‘land bridge’ from Russia to Crimea, a key logistics line of communication.
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“Dragon’s teeth have additionally been sent for the preparation of defensive fortifications in occupied Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.
“Russia is fortifying its lines throughout areas of occupation. On 19 October 2022, Wagner Group owner Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed the construction of a fortified ‘Wagner Line’ of defences in Russian-occupied Luhansk Oblast.
“his activity suggests Russia is making a significant effort to prepare defences in depth behind their current front line, likely to forestall any rapid Ukrainian advances in the event of breakthroughs.”
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