STUTTGART, Germany — It takes a village to help Ukraine fight the Russians. Consider a recent shipment of 105-millimeter howitzers. Britain donated the weapons, and New Zealand trained Ukrainian soldiers how to use them and provided spare parts. The United States supplied the ammunition and the vehicles to tow them and flew the load to a base near Ukraine’s border. Choreographing the sequence was the job of dozens of military logistics specialists ensconced in a large, secure attic room at the U.S. European Command headquarters in Germany. The little-known group is playing a pivotal role in keeping the Ukrainian military armed and equipped as its battlefield needs become more complicated. Think of the cell as a cross between a wedding registry for bombs, bullets and rocket artillery, and a military version of FedEx. Uniformed officers from more than two dozen countries try to match Ukraine’s requests with donations from more than 40 nations, then arrange to move the shipments by … [Read more...] about Special Military Cell Flows Weapons and Equipment Into Ukraine
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Israel launched a large-scale surprise military drill late Tuesday along the country's northern border with Lebanon, one of many regional countries to condemn President Donald Trump's anticipated announcement recognizing the disputed city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Israeli military reportedly mobilized its Galilee division, including hundreds of logistics corps soldiers and dozens of vehicles, without prior notice, in an effort to test its rapid-response capabilities in the event of a conflict breaking out in the tense northern region, near foes Lebanon and Syria. Both Arab nations have recognized Jerusalem solely as the capital of an independent Palestinian state, and have been hit by Israeli airstrikes targeting Iran-backed forces, such as Lebanon's Shiite Muslim Hezbollah movement, which has focused on battling Syrian rebels and jihadis in recent years. It has also clashed with Israeli forces for decades. Related: Israel says it wants to work with Saudi Arabia … [Read more...] about Israel Holds Giant Military Drill Ahead of Trump Speech
BRUSSELS — Amid increasingly urgent calls by Ukraine for heavy weapons to fend off Russian’s invasion, President Biden on Wednesday announced an additional $1 billion in weapons and aid for the country, and the United States and its allies sought to present a united front against the Kremlin. The war in Ukraine has radically altered the strategic calculus in Europe and challenged the security structure that has helped keep the peace on the continent since World War II. But after outrage over President Vladimir V. Putin’s invasion initially unified the alliance as seldom before, some fissures are emerging over the end game of an increasingly intractable conflict. The aid package to Ukraine, detailed by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, includes more long-range artillery, anti-ship missile launchers, more ammunition for howitzers and for a sophisticated American rocket system on which Ukrainians are currently being trained. Overall, the United States has now committed about … [Read more...] about U.S. and NATO allies send more military aid to Ukraine to counter Russia.
The military has foiled a coup attempt in Sao Tome and Principe, the prime minister of the island nation off the western coast of Africa said in a video message confirmed by AFP on Friday. Four men, including the former president of the outgoing National Assembly Delfim Neves, tried to attack army headquarters overnight, Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada said in a video message confirmed by the justice minister. He said Neves was one of several people arrested. A resident speaking to AFP anonymously by phone said she had heard “automatic and heavy weapons fire, as well as explosions, for two hours inside the army headquarters" in the nation’s capital. In the video message, authenticated and sent to AFP by the press office of Sao Tome’s prime minister, Trovoada is seen sitting at a desk saying he wants to “reassure" the population and “the international community". “There was an attempted coup d’etat which began around 00:40 am and… ended shortly after 6 am," he said, adding … [Read more...] about Sao Tome: Military Foils Coup Bid in Western African Nation
DRUZHKIVKA, Ukraine — After weeks of bloody street fighting and months of withering artillery fire, Ukrainian forces will withdraw from Sievierodonetsk, a city that President Volodymyr Zelensky once said would determine the “fate” of the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. The retreat from the devastated industrial city on the east bank of the Siversky Donets River was confirmed Friday by Serhiy Haidai, the head of the military administration in Luhansk. It represents the most significant loss for the Ukrainian military since Russian forces seized Mariupol a month ago after a similarly brutal campaign of heavy shelling and street fighting left that southern port in ruins. It means the Russian military can now concentrate fully on taking control of Lysychansk, Sievierodonetsk’s twin city on the west bank of the river and the last city in the Luhansk region still under Ukrainian control. Analysts expect that the Russians will then set their sights on seizing the remnant of the … [Read more...] about Ukraine Retreats From Embattled City, as Russia Grinds On
The U.S. has cast doubt over whether Russia has enough artillery to keep up a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with Moscow burning through more ammunition than it can restock. On Wednesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told journalists that Russians "have struggled with logistics from the very beginning" of the war and "are still struggling with logistics" now. He added that they are "experiencing significant shortages of artillery munitions and reaching out to Iran and North Korea to get help from them." For nine months, Russia has been burning through its military equipment stocks, losing hundreds of armored vehicles and artillery, at least 71 helicopters, and over 1,000 tanks. That's according to Oryx, a website that records military equipment losses in Ukraine. The country's ability to replace the lost equipment has been significantly reduced since the beginning of the war on February 24, as Western sanctions have inched away at Russia's capacity of producing … [Read more...] about Russia is running out of ammo: How much longer can it keep fighting?
WASHINGTON — Ukrainian troops fire thousands of explosive shells at Russian targets every day, using high-tech cannons supplied by the United States and its allies. But those weapons are burning out after months of overuse, or being damaged or destroyed in combat, and dozens have been taken off the battlefield for repairs, according to U.S. and Ukrainian officials. A third of the roughly 350 Western-made howitzers donated to Kyiv are out of action at any given time, according to U.S. defense officials and others familiar with Ukraine’s defense needs. Swapping out a howitzer’s barrel, which can be 20 feet long and weigh thousands of pounds, is beyond the capability of soldiers in the field and has become a priority for the Pentagon’s European Command, which has set up a repair facility in Poland. Western-made artillery pieces gave Ukrainian soldiers a lifeline when they began running low on ammunition for their own Soviet-era howitzers , and keeping them in action has become as … [Read more...] about Artillery Is Breaking in Ukraine. It’s Becoming a Problem for the Pentagon.
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon will allow the United States military to once again arm itself with older cluster munitions, a type of weapon that has been banned by 102 countries largely because of concerns that they disproportionately harm civilians. The change, detailed in a memo released on Friday, reverses a prohibition issued under President George W. Bush, and appears to be a concession by the United States that finding safer variants of the weapons has so far failed. Most American cluster munitions held abroad appear to be positioned for a possible war with North Korea. Under a 2008 agreement, the Pentagon maintains a stockpile of more than 1.5 million cluster munitions, containing over 90 million bomblets, in South Korea. Cluster munitions include a wide variety of rockets, bombs, missiles and artillery projectiles that scatter smaller weapons, called submunitions, over a target area. Some dispensers can release as many as several hundred bomblets. Though the United … [Read more...] about U.S. Will Keep Older Cluster Munitions, a Weapon Banned by 102 Nations
In video after video taken in Ukraine, a puff of smoke and a brief flash of light signal that another clutch of Russian troops are about to die. Sometimes it is only a split second before that light streaks to a tank or armored vehicle that suddenly erupts in smoke and flame, often bursting from within as ammunition inside explodes. Rewinding these videos a bit often shows Ukrainian soldiers before the attack, patrolling to an ambush point with large green tubes carried on their backs — each one a gift from Britain. In perhaps 15 seconds, and sometimes even faster than that, the soldiers can unsling the weapon, unfold its aiming sight, release a safety catch and wait for their prey to appear. The green tubes are called NLAWs, for Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapons. They are the result of decades of weapons research dedicated to building small lightweight guided missiles that may have evened the balance of power in combat between the fearsome tank and the soldier. … [Read more...] about Ukraine Is Wrecking Russian Tanks With a Gift From Britain
WASHINGTON — When the White House began negotiating with Ukraine to provide it for the first time with some of America’s most powerful, precision-guided weapons, President Biden insisted that President Volodymyr Zelensky agree to one major restriction: No firing into Russian territory, no matter how great the provocation. “Ukrainians have given us assurance that they will not use these systems against targets on Russian territory,” Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken told reporters on Wednesday, with the secretary general of NATO standing alongside him. But he immediately added that Russia was the only one to blame for the introduction of a powerful new weapon to the battlefield. “The best way to avoid escalation is Russia to stop the aggression and the war that it started.” There is no question that the decision to give Mr. Zelensky the weapons he has requested for weeks, intended to target Russian command posts and staging areas inside Ukraine, marked a major escalation in the … [Read more...] about The U.S. Is Sending Advanced Weapons to Ukraine. But Conditions Apply.