On Thursday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov made a direct plea to Congress asking for the US to send anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to help fight attacking Russian forces.
In a video posted to YouTube by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Reznikov said Ukraine needs “as much Stinger and anti-tank weapons as possible.” He said the weapons could be delivered to Poland from where Ukraine can transport them over the border.
Since the 2014 US-backed coup in Kyiv, the US has given Ukraine over $2.7 billion in military aid. The Obama administration refused to send weapons to the Ukrainians, but the Trump administration took that step in 2017, and started supplying Kyiv with Javelin anti-tank missiles.
Pentagon officials have said that they would look for alternative ways to send Ukraine Javelins if Russia invaded. The weapons have previously been delivered by aircraft.
Recently, Lithuania shipped Stinger missiles to Ukraine, which was approved by Washington. The Stingers marked an escalation in NATO’s arming of Ukraine. The issue is one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s main points of contention with Kyiv, and although Ukraine is not a formal member, its alignment with the western military alliance is his main justification for his assault.
Earlier on Thursday, the Kremlin said it was willing to negotiate Ukraine’s surrender. Russia’s terms are that it wants Ukraine to declare neutrality and promise not to host weapons in its territory. So far, the Biden administration has refused to consider Putin’s demand for a promise that Ukraine would never join the military alliance.