Up to 50 Western Planes With Military Hardware Landed in Ukraine Ahead of Russian Op – Moscow
17:56 GMT 05.03.2022 (Updated: 18:37 GMT 05.03.2022)
© REUTERS / VALENTYN OGIRENKOLithuania's military aid including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, delivered as part of the security support package for Ukraine, is unloaded from a ?17 Globemaster III plane at the Boryspil International Airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine, February 13, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
Earlier, The Washington Post reported that the US had been sending hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of military hardware to Ukraine since December 2021 – months ahead of Russia's decision to launch its special military operation.
Up to 50 cargo planes carrying military hardware from the US, UK, Canada, Poland, and Lithuania landed in Ukraine prior to the start of the Russian military operation there, Russia’s Foreign Ministry has revealed. Some 2,000 tonnes of modern weapons, ammunition, and protective gear were supplied to Ukraine in the first month and a half of 2022, the ministry added.
The Foreign Ministry further specified that the UK singlehandedly transferred over 2,000 units of anti-tank weaponry.
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman said that Moscow has once again called on the EU and NATO to stop the "mindless pumping" of modern weaponry to the Kiev regime. She said that it creates great risks for civilian aviation and other transport systems in Europe and beyond.
"The organisers of these deliveries must realise the growing threat of these high-precision weapons falling into the hands of terrorist elements and bandit formations not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe as a whole. The flow of these weapons into illegal markets and into the hands of terrorist networks is only a matter of time. MANPADS pose a huge danger to civil aviation, and ATGMs to railway transport and infrastructure", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February after Kiev failed to implement the Minsk agreements and resolve the conflict in Donbass peacefully. President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was left with no other choice but to act after weeks of shelling of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) by Ukrainian forces. He thus ordered Russian forces to demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine.
Moscow had also repeatedly cautioned Western countries against sending advanced weaponry to Ukraine, arguing that it would embolden Kiev and prompt it to try to resolve the conflict in Donbass with the use of its military.