U.S. intelligence information passed to Ukraine could be used by Kyiv for offensive operations, said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby at a briefing on Friday, April 8, during a broadcast on Twitter.
“We are trying to give them useful information and intelligence that will allow them to defend themselves, fight back, resist <…>. If they used any of this data for a counterattack, then so be it,” he said.
As per Kirby, the United States, when providing intelligence information, does not distinguish between whether the Ukrainian forces are “in a defensive position or in a counterattack.”
The day before, White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said that the United States had collectively provided Ukraine with weapons worth $1.7 billion since the start of the Russian operation in the Donbas and more than $2 billion since President Joe Biden took office. She noted that deliveries are made almost every day. Two days ago, the United States announced the allocation of $ 100 million for the most important weapon of the Ukrainians in the fight against the Russians – the Javelin missile system.
On Wednesday, April 6, at a briefing, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby announced that the first batch of 100 Switchblade loitering projectiles made by the American company AeroVironment were sent to Ukraine. On the same day, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander told a House Armed Services Committee hearing that the drones were part of the $800 million military aid to Ukraine announced by President Joe Biden.
The Czech Republic has sent tanks, missiles and artillery to Ukraine
The Czech Republic has delivered tanks, several missiles, howitzers and infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, including hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military shipments, and deliveries will continue, Reuters reported, citing two sources from the Czech Defense Ministry.
Sources confirmed to Reuters the delivery of five T-72 tanks and five other armoured vehicles, BVP-1 and BMP-1. Photos and videos of infantry fighting vehicles on trains were circulated on Twitter this week. However, these are not the first deliveries of heavy military equipment. A Czech defense ministry official said the country had been supplying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of heavy military equipment to Ukraine for several weeks. According to him, the Czechs also supply several anti-aircraft weapons.
Independent military analyst Lukasz Wiesinger said a train was spotted, probably travelling to Ukraine, loaded with Strela-10 and SA-13 anti-aircraft systems. It is confirmed by information disseminated by the Czech weekly Respect, Reuters notes. An agreed shipment announced by the German government includes 56 infantry fighting vehicles made in Czechoslovakia, which were in service in East Germany and Sweden. They were later sold to a Czech arms company, part of the Czechoslovak Group defense holding company, which plays an important role in Czech supplies to Ukraine.
The Czech arms supply program includes funds raised by the Ukrainian embassy through a public campaign. They currently amount to $ 42.31 million. It is a unique campaign whose focus is on purchasing weapons in cooperation with local authorities, the Ukrainian embassy explained, noting that $ 31.18 million had already been spent.
Funding also comes from the Czech government in donations of equipment and ammunition, which have so far exceeded $ 44.51 million. Some other governments are also making such donations, a source in the Czech military said, without providing further information. Weapons are being supplied from military stocks and Czech defense companies and their partner network with other countries, Defense Ministry sources said.
Wiesinger said the Czech army probably has about 60 tanks and a three-digit number of combat vehicles. In addition, the Czechoslovak Group still has heavy equipment in stock, which can be delivered to Ukraine. The Czech Republic is also in talks with Ukraine to repair damaged Ukrainian equipment.