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Top Ukraine, US defense officials discuss military aid in call, Kiev says

PoliticsWorld PoliticsTop Ukraine, US defense officials discuss military aid in call, Kiev says
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Three senior US security officials held a video call with a group of their Ukrainian counterparts to discuss military aid to Kiev, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff said on Saturday.

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Andrey Ermak wrote on Telegram, “We discussed the further provision of necessary assistance to our country, in particular vehicles, weapons and ammunition.”

Ermak said he, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, top general Valery Zaluzny and several other senior commanders and officers attended the meeting.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, top military commander Mark Milley and White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan represented the other side.

Yermak did not provide details of specific requests to the US side.

The meeting comes as Kiev seeks to gather enough arms supplies from its Western backers, of whom the US has been the most important, to mount a counteroffensive and attempt to retake territory captured by Moscow last year.

Yermak said Zelensky had finally attended the meeting to give his views on the liberation of Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia since its invasion some 13 months earlier.

“We briefed our partners in detail about the current situation at the front, combat operations in the most difficult areas, as well as the urgent needs of the Ukrainian army,” Yermak said.

Ukrainian forces continued on Friday to fend off Russian attacks on the ruined town of Bakhmut, the centerpiece of an eight-month Russian effort to advance through the industrial Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine bordering Russia.

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