From June 28 to July 11, Ukraine is hosting large-scale Sea Breeze-2021 military drills by NATO and its partners, involving 32 countries, 4,000 military personnel, 40 warships, boats and auxiliary vessels, 30 units of aviation equipment and over 100 units of cars and armored vehicles. Such an unprecedented equipment concentration on the Black Sea coast will perform both ashore and afloat.
The issue is that some weapons left after the joint NATO-Ukraine military exercises end up in the territory of Ukraine and are used in the Donbass, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said recently. She emphasized that in 2021 Ukraine will hold seven joint military exercises with NATO: "Sniper training, arms supplies, the use in the Donbass conflict of equipment left after exercises in the territory of Ukraine are not suspicions but real facts. NATO's military drills in Ukraine are primarily horrible to Ukraine itself. It's like throwing gunpowder into the fire," Zakharova added. The Ukrainian army is actively engaged in the exercises. Let's get a handle on what kind of weapons NATO uses against the Donetsk republics.
Since 2014, the United States has spent about $2 billion on pumping up the army muscles of Ukraine. And more than 26 countries of the world are arming and equipping the Ukrainian army. The supply of cutting-edge weapons systems strengthens the offensive potential of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Recently, a US Congress delegation has visited Kiev and discussed confrontation with Russia and weapon supplies to Ukraine. The latest Donbass escalation made head of the Presidential Administration Andriy Yermak urge the United States to deploy its Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems in his country: "Ukraine is holding the line against Russia, not just for us, but for the West. And where does the US deploy its Patriot Missiles? They should be here." Pundits say Washington is really contemplating the supply of air defense systems, anti-tank missiles and tactical strike systems.
With a budget increase, the Ukrainian military will get NATO 60-mm mortars, whose fragments have already been found after shelling in the Donetsk republics. America also supplies Ukrainian snipers with Barret rifles that are used to kill Donetsk fighters. Bullets extracted from the bodies are of the same caliber. Reconnaissance drones are also used against the republics, and the front zone constantly witnesses the arrival of foreign advisers, instructors and officials with the elite US Marine Corps who studied the coastal line on the southern front. In fact, one may talk about the Alliance's intervention in the Donbass war on the side of Ukraine. Western specialists are known to be going to deploy, maintain and configure complex systems, which is not a remote one but a personal contribution. Western electronic warfare systems are currently being tested in the frontline zone. Because of them, the drones of the OSCE observation mission often cannot take to the air, as the Ukrainian side is jamming the signal. But the aggressive Kiev regime is not satisfied with the pace of deliveries and the volume of aid, demanding yet more. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba admitted this, asking the United States to fully provide modern electronic warfare equipment so as to counter Russia's ability to block Ukrainian communications.
The United States remains the main donor of military supplies, gratuitous aid, as well as weapon and equipment sales to Ukraine. In 2020, the latter received military products worth twice as much as for the preceding year. In particular, until 2016, the United States provided portable Javelin anti-tank missile systems, Barrett sniper rifles, 35 Humvee armored vehicles, 130 Hummers and five speedboats, counter-battery radar stations, grenade launchers, radio stations, night vision devices, several thousand bulletproof vests, field hospitals. And then the supplies came thick and fast. 2016 saw 14 more radar stations, two thousand night vision devices, five more armored vehicles, 24 light UAVs arrive in Ukraine. In 2017, the country got 40 more Hummers and some 700 radio stations.
In 2018, America started providing Ukraine with lethal weapons, namely 35 Javelin anti-tank missile systems and 210 missiles for them. The Ukrainian military received another 2.5 thousand night vision devices, mine detectors, counter-sniper warfare systems and radar stations, 30 off-road vehicles, and medical equipment. A year later, the United States spent 361 million dollars on equipping the Ukrainian army. In 2020, Kiev has received 510 million from Washington for its military needs and signed a contract for the purchase of patrol boats worth $600 million. With the boats, the Americans sealed a profitable deal on a "nothing personal, just business" basis. First, the United States gave three patrol boats to the Ukrainian fleet free of charge, and then "persuaded" them to purchase 16 new ones. They will be produced in the USA, with American specialists serving them at the base in the Ochakiv city, Mykolaiv Oblast (region). The money was given to Ukraine on the nod. America will capitalize both on the sale of boats, and on interest.
Huge sums are required for the purchase of military uniforms and shoes, helmets, bulletproof vests, unloading systems, individual meal packs and medicines. Separate financing items are the adjustment of Ukraine's army structure to NATO standards, training and treatment of Ukrainian soldiers. But the generous sponsor does not interrupt infusions, having got other NATO countries and their minor satellites involved for the sake of efficiency.
The UK has supplied Kiev with 75 Saxon armored personnel carriers, Defender armored reconnaissance and communications vehicles, personal and medical equipment, tactical equipment, winter diesel fuel, night vision devices, GPS navigators and laptops. Night vision devices, bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets, sleeping bags, radio stations and equipment for mine clearance were donated by Canada. Bulletproof vests and Kevlar helmets come from Spain, France supplies medical facilities and equipment, Slovakia and Georgia provide electric generators, lighting kits, sleeping bags, munitions and medicine. Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, Estonia, Albania, Switzerland, Denmark and a number of others send various types of aid either. Turkey and Israel are actively helping the Ukrainian armed forces.
Instructors from Israel train Ukrainian doctors to bring their field and battle performance to perfection. Courses are held in Ukraine and in Israeli hospitals. Israeli combat training instructors help Ukrainian soldiers; Croatia and Sweden train miners, doctors and psychologists. Countries like Poland, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria send modernized Soviet armored vehicles, self-propelled Carnation guns, and ammunition to Ukraine. Large military supplies are coming from Lithuania, particularly 150 thousand tons of ammunition, bullets, large-caliber machine guns, 7 thousand Kalashnikov assault rifles, mortars and anti-tank guns. Poland "helped" with mortars, armored personnel carriers, heavy machine guns, ship artillery installations, parachute systems, as well as 100 recoilless rifles. The nearest future will see NATO additionally supply communication and tracking devices, equipment for subversive reconnaissance units, mines, tripwires, sights, radio stations, tactical data display consoles, and special weapons in store.
By the way, the murderers of the Donbass civilian population are willingly, gratuitously and massively treated abroad. Since the beginning of hostilities, 17 NATO countries and three partner countries have admitted over a thousand injured Ukrainian servicemen for treatment and rehabilitation.
The military cooperation between NATO and Ukraine is growing with each passing year. And this is particularly alarming, because the Donetsk republics have one single ally, Russia.