Australia to send Bushmaster armored personnel carriers to Ukraine
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country will send locally produced Bushmaster armored personnel carriers to Ukraine. His words are broadcast on March 31 by the Australian radio ABC.
It is noted that the decision to send military equipment was made after the speech of Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky to the Australian government via video link on March 31.
During it, Zelensky directly called on the Australian Parliament to supply armored vehicles, saying that those who “fight evil” should be armed.
“For example, you have very good Bushmaster armored personnel carriers, which could significantly help Ukraine, and other equipment that could strengthen our position in arms. If you have the opportunity to share this with us, we would be very grateful,” the Ukrainian leader said.
Morrison replied that Australia would grant the Ukrainian president's request.
“We are not just sending our prayers, we are sending our weapons, our ammunition, humanitarian aid, all of this, our bulletproof vests,” he said.
In addition, Morrison said that the Australian government will provide Ukraine with new military assistance worth 25 million Australian dollars ($18.7 million).
The Australian authorities invited Zelensky to speak to MPs on March 30.
Ukraine also receives assistance in the form of military equipment and weapons from other countries. Thus, on Thursday, the United States authorities completed the transfer of a $350 million military aid package to Kiev. It was noted that aid deliveries totaling $1 billion would soon be completed.
On March 30, The Times reported that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the Cabinet of his desire to supply Ukraine with "more deadly" weapons. Johnson did not specify what kind of weapon it could be. However, a source in defense circles told the newspaper that Kyiv needs "long-range firepower." This could be, for example, AS-90 Vickers self-propelled artillery mounts.
Shortly before this, Johnson said that the UK would consider sending tanks and aircraft to Kiev in response to a request from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Earlier Thursday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO countries would supply weapons to Kiev as much as needed. It was also noted that additional multinational battle groups would be created in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia in response to the Russian special operation to protect the Donbass.
On March 17, CNN, citing a source in the administration of US President Joe Biden, said that the United States would send Soviet air defense systems to Ukraine. In addition, the US administration is considering the possibility of supplying Ukraine with Switchblades high-precision guided missiles as part of military assistance.
A day earlier, it became known that the Canadian authorities would continue to supply weapons to Ukraine and provide it with humanitarian and financial assistance.
On February 28, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented on the supply of weapons to Kiev. She noted that in the current situation, the supplied weapons could become the prey of neo-Nazis, terrorists and marauders on Ukrainian territory. At the same time, she previously noted that Ukraine is already stuffed with NATO weapons, and the number of Western instructors has increased many times in recent months.