Sweden, Britain provide new weapons, missiles for Ukraine

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Jan. 19 (UPI) — Sweden and Britain on Thursday both announced packages of military aid for Ukraine, including weapons and missiles, prompting a warning from Moscow.

The office of the Swedish prime minister on Thursday announced a $415 million “three-part support” package that includes Archer artillery systems.

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“This includes recoilless rifles with ammunition, anti-tank weapons, assault rifles, mine clearing equipment, Combat Vehicle 90 (CV90) with ammunition, and light anti-armor weapon Robot 57 (NLAW), worth [$415 million],” the text continues.

The Swedish government has also asked the armed forces to prepare for the transfer of Archer B artillery systems and ammunition to Ukraine.

The Archer B artillery system is a self-propelled howitzer, with a range of approximately 21 miles, which can be extended by using specially modified shells. It also has the capability to fire a salvo of artillery shells and then rapidly move to another location, a feature that could help Ukrainian artillery crews avoid Russian counterfire.

Artillery has become crucial to Ukrainian forces who are trying to take out Russian command and control centers behind the front lines while holding off Russian advances in the eastern Donetsk region.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Sweden for the upcoming aid in a tweet Thursday.

“Sincerely grateful to the Government of Sweden & @SwedishPM for the new military assistance package to Ukraine. CV90 IFV’s, Archer self-propelled howitzer & NLAW ATGMs are powerful weapons that [Ukraine’s] army needs to liberate our land from the Russian invader together to a common victory,” Zelensky wrote.

The British Secretary of Defense, Ben Wallace, announced that his county would also be supplying additional weapons to Ukraine Thursday.

“We’re going to send another 600 Brimstone missiles into theater which will be incredibly important in helping Ukraine dominate the battlefield,” Wallace told reporters.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov denounced the provision of military supplies to Ukraine during a call with journalists Thursday.

“The discussion itself about the permissibility of supplying Ukraine with weapons that will allow it to strike at Russian territory — although Ukraine already has weapons with which it constantly strikes at our new regions — is potentially extremely dangerous,” he said. “It will mean bringing the conflict to a new qualitative level, a level that will not bode well for European security.”

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U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III met with his German counterpart Thursday to discuss aid to Ukraine. The German government has said they would provide Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, if the United States also delivers tanks.

On Wednesday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said his country is ready to deliver its own German-built Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, even without German approval.