Ukraine needs these six things to win the war – ex-defense minister

This is what the former Minister of Defense of Ukraine said news week what weapons his country needs from the west to achieve “victory in the field” over the invading Russian military.

Andriy Zagorodnyuk called on the western powers to equip Ukraine with long-range missiles, modern air defenses, counter-battery radar, anti-ship missiles, more unmanned aerial systems, and additional tanks and armored personnel carriers to repel Vladimir Putin’s forces.

Zagorodnyuk, a former adviser to incumbent President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was Ukraine’s defense minister from 2019 to 2020 and is a respected contributor to the Atlantic Council think tank.

After a surge in Russian drone and missile attacks on Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, Zagorodnyuk called on the West to step up its support for Ukraine.

long-range missiles

Zagorodnyuk called for more artillery and long-range missiles to be sent to Ukraine, including the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) and the Army Tactical Missile System, which the Pentagon has so far refused to provide.

He said: “The key to success in this war is long-range firepower. Therefore, Ukraine needs to be provided with enough weapons and ammunition to equip its brigades with artillery systems and multiple rocket launchers.

“With enough weapons, Ukraine will be able to make further advances in the counteroffensive, destroying Russian positions on the battlefield and at an operational depth of 200 kilometers. Artillery units must be equipped with enough counter-battery systems that allow rapid reaction capability.

“That is why longer-range missiles like GMLRS and ATCAMS are important, as they will allow Ukraine to prevent the Russians from providing necessary logistical support to their troops. The Russians operate thousands of artillery systems and rocket launchers, so the quantity of weapons must be sufficient to meet operational needs in at least two or three directions at once, while pinning down Russians in other directions.

Zagorodnyuk added that a counter-battery radar like the ANTPQ Firefinder weapon location system was needed to “ensure detection of incoming fire.”

Ukrainian police shoot at Russian drone
A police officer shoots at a flying drone after attacks in Kyiv on October 17 amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The former Ukrainian defense minister told Newsweek what his country needs to fend off Russian attacks.

Tanks and armored vehicles

The former minister said Ukraine needs more “tanks and armored vehicles” to support its infantry.

He stated: “As the experience of this war shows, the Russians cannot hold their positions unless they provide their battlefield forces with adequate logistical support. The Russians are extremely fragile in infantry combat. The panic we saw in the Kharkiv area has its roots in Ukraine’s advantage in a particular zone of operations and a consequent breakdown in Russia’s command and control function.”

In September, Ukrainian troops pushed Russians out of most of Kharkiv province in the north, pushing Putin’s forces far from Ukraine’s second-largest city.

Modern air defense systems

As Ukrainian cities are repeatedly bombed, Zagorodnyuk demanded that “modern air defense weapons” such as Norway’s NASAMS surface-to-air missile system be sent to his country.

He said: “The Russians have a massive advantage in missile capabilities. Their missiles are not accurate, but they are plentiful. Also, there is a need to keep Russian aviation off the battlefield to ensure it never achieves air superiority. NASAMs are critical.”

Unmanned Flight Systems

Both Ukraine and Russia have used unmanned aerial systems, or drones, to devastating effect since the invasion began, with Moscow’s armed forces deploying large numbers of Iranian-made “kamikaze” drones.

Zagorodnyuk demanded that Ukraine receive more drones in return, stating: “Unmanned aerial systems have played a revolutionary role in this war. It is possible to predict that the reconnaissance and strike drones will eventually become a game changer as the war progresses.”

anti-ship missiles

Ukraine has scored a number of victories over the Russian Navy, most notably by sinking the cruiser Moscowformerly the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, in April.

Zagorodnyuk, however, called for more “coastal missiles and unmanned systems” to “destroy Russian naval vessels,” adding that the “denial of access to the sea” for the Russian fleet was “an ongoing process.”

Intel and logistical support

Ukraine has already received information from Western powers, including the US and Britain, but this must continue, according to Zagorodnyuk. He said: “Ukraine has great cooperation with allies in situational awareness and military reconnaissance. Continuing to share detailed information in real-time is another critical factor for success.”

Zagorodnyuk also pointed to Ukraine’s increasing reliance on Western weapons systems, urging the West to set up “comprehensive supply facilities” to provide “repairs and technical support” to the Kiev Armed Forces.

The foreign ministries of Ukraine and Russia were asked to comment. Ukraine needs these six things to win the war – ex-defense minister

Rick Schindler

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