A week before the Thanksgiving holiday last month, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov came to his American counterpart Lloyd Austin’s third-floor Pentagon office with an unusually large request: He needed weapons systems, including many that the United States had never before provided to Ukraine, and he needed them fast. Foreign Policy reported this.
"Kyiv is also seeking some of the U.S. military equipment earmarked for Afghanistan before the fall of Kabul, including U.S.-owned Soviet-era Mi-17 helicopters undergoing maintenance in Ukraine and munitions that were initially intended to be sent to the Afghan army, according to a Ukrainian defense official speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive bilateral talks," the message said.
The list, which was first detailed by Reznikov to Austin in mid-November and has not been previously reported in detail, includes support for air and naval defense and electronic warfare—a potential shield against devastating bombings and electromagnetic attacks that would likely accompany any forward march across Ukraine by Russian mechanized forces.
There’s more reason for alarm this time around. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Russia has stacked approximately 115,000 troops at Ukraine’s borders, in the occupied Crimean peninsula, and in two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine where Moscow-backed separatists have waged war since 2014. U.S. intelligence has warned that Russia could be planning a multifront offensive into Ukraine in early 2022 with up to 175,000 troops, as the Washington Post reported on Dec 3.
Earlier, US State Secretary Antony Blinken stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin was ready to invade Ukraine. However, at the moment, it is not yet known whether he made a decision.
To clarify the situation around the growing tensions near the Ukrainian border, Biden agreed on a dialogue with Putin. Biden-Putin negotiations will take place on December 7.