Five months after Russia’s brutal invasion in UkraineAustralia is bolstering military aid to the war-torn country and sending more armored vehicles to the front lines.
The first four of Australia’s 14 M113AS4 armored personnel carriers were loaded onto a Ukrainian cargo plane last week and flown to Ukraine as part of a $285 million package of military aid.
Australian Bushmaster vehicles, anti-armor weapons, unmanned aerial systems and ammunition are already being used in the battle.
“We are going above and beyond, but we should be, because the issues at stake in Ukraine are everywhere,” Defense Secretary Richard Marles told Nine News.
“It is so important that the world stands in solidarity in support of Ukraine and against the terrible Russian aggression that we have seen.”
The additional aid has been warmly welcomed by Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia, who said the resources dispatched so far play an important role in the war effort.
“Australia is hitting above its weight,” Vasyl Myroshnychenko said in an interview with Nine News.
“The only problem is that we need more of it now, because every day we see 100 Ukrainian soldiers being killed and 400 injured,” he said.
“It’s brutal and extremely bloody. For every Ukrainian shell we get 10 Russian shells and we’re running out of ammunition.”
With the end of the conflict in sight, the Defense Secretary has confirmed that Australia will continue to play our part as long as the war continues.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has yet to confirm whether he will accept an invitation to visit war-torn Ukraine at the end of the month when he attends a NATO summit in Madrid.
Myroshnychenko said there is no pressure on him, but the visit would be a welcome signal of solidarity.
“Australia has become a great friend of Ukraine,” he said.
“I think it’s very clear who Goliath is and who David is fighting here.
“I think that’s black and white and I think Australia is strong in supporting the sovereignty of nations and standing up to bullies.”