Delays in promised Western military aid to Ukraine are costing lives, the defense minister says – NewsNation | Space

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Half of promised Western military support to Ukraine fails to arrive on time, complicating the task of military planners and ultimately costing the lives of soldiers in Russia’s war, the Ukrainian defense minister said Sunday.

Rustan Umerov, speaking at the “Ukraine. Year 2024” forum in Kyiv, stressed that each delayed aid shipment meant Ukrainian troop losses, and underscored Russia’s superior military might.

Commemorations to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Saturday brought expressions of continued support, new bilateral security agreements and new aid commitments from Ukraine’s Western allies. But Umerov said that they still needed to deliver on their commitments if Ukraine is to have any chance of holding out against Russia.

“We look to the enemy: their economy is almost $2 trillion, they use up to 15% official and nonofficial budget (funds) for the war, which constitutes over $100 billion annually. So basically whenever a commitment doesn’t come on time, we lose people, we lose territory,” he said.

Umerov and the Ukrainian military’s commander-in-chief, Oleksandr Syrskyi, toured front-line combat posts earlier Sunday amid a worsening ammunition shortage and dogged Russian attacks in the east.

They heard from front-line troops and “thoroughly analyzed” the battlefield situation on their visit, Syrskyi said in a Telegram update. He didn’t specify where exactly he and Umerov went, but said that “the situation is difficult” for Ukrainian troops and “needs constant control” along many stretches of the front.

Russian forces on Sunday appeared to be pressing on west of Avdiivka, the strategic city whose capture this month handed Moscow a major victory as fierce fighting rages on in eastern Ukraine.

Gen. Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, who leads Ukrainian forces fighting in the area, said Sunday that his troops had retreated from much of Lastochkyne,…

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