Ukraine: Russian senator says it's 'time to wreck US bases'
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Since the beginning of the war, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged NATO members and western allies to provide arms and ammunition to crush Russian advances. NATO has so far resisted any direct involvement in the war amid fears any engagement with Russian forces would result in a wider conflict spilling into Europe.
The secret base being used, in Stuttgart, has been the logistical operational centre for the distribution of arms to Kyiv.
More than 100 troops from 14 nations play a part in the mission, with one senior British officer at the base stating the odds couldn’t be higher when it comes to the importance and safety of the operation.
Speaking of the mission, Brigadier Chris King said: “I feel if we don’t do enough, we will sow the seeds of future conflict.
“This is a generational moment and we either help Ukraine to fight or we accept that maybe not straight away, but in the next few years, we’re going to be fighting somewhere else.”
Mr King stated the mission would be in place for the long term, stating NATO did not foresee a quick end to the war in Ukraine.
Reports have shown that Russian advances in the Donbas region have slowed amid strong Ukrainian resistance, however, Russian forces claim they have captured the city of Severodonetsk, killing up to 200 Ukrainian soldiers per day.
The base, informally known as “The Attic” has been kept secret since its launch in March.
Due to the sensitive nature of the logistics, teams of personnel working at the venue remain on constant alert when communicating in order to avoid eavesdropping by Russian intelligence listening to the plans.
Communication is also maintained with Ukrainian personnel informing the base as to the needs required.
With Ukraine providing real-time intelligence of Russian advances, NATO partners are able to deliver bespoke equipment suited to the needs of the Ukrainian defences based on the intelligence.
Due to the highly sensitive nature of the operation, only select members are being given shared information at any one time.
Equipment is shipped to Ukraine via air, sea and rail, using multiple secret routes into the country.
Once deliveries have been made into Ukraine, local forces continue to use secret networks to distribute the new arrivals across the country where needed.
Mr King said: “We have to, of course, keep what we’re doing secure and as discreet as possible so we don’t signpost what we are doing and where and what we are doing it from.”
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The nature of the cargo is also extremely volatile, often with highly explosive material being shipped.
Mr King stated certain items cannot be stored for long periods of time, hence the need for smooth and regular movement of shipments.
As with any operation of this type, hold-ups can be extremely frustrating and delays can hold up Ukraine’s ability to defend itself.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said: “Ukraine is really in a very critical situation and therefore, there’s an urgent need to step up.”
For more stories like this, follow Express.co.uk Defence and Security Correspondent James Lee on Twitter @JamesLee_DE
Speaking in Oslo before flying to Brussels today, Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, said the UK was looking at sending more anti-ship missiles to help Ukraine protect its ports.
He also said Britain had bought self-propelled guns from a third party and sent them to Ukraine.
He said: “We think there is a good prospect of Ukraine pushing back Russia when these weapons arrive.”
The United States — already by far the biggest donor to Ukraine’s defence — is also expected to announce about $1billion of new weapons aid to Kyiv soon, including anti-ship rocket systems, artillery rockets and howitzer rounds.
US President Joe Biden has pledged a commitment to supplying Ukraine.
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