In a recent address during the opening of the Defense Contact Group meeting (Ramstein format), Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov highlighted Ukraine’s resilience in the face of Russian aggression.
He pointed out that despite Russia’s significant military operations, they struggled to achieve their objectives and suffered heavy losses.
Umerov stated that Russia is currently losing approximately 400 soldiers for every square kilometer of Ukrainian territory captured. Additionally, Russia used six times more artillery shells than Ukrainian forces, yet it took them a year to capture Bakhmut and Mariinka.
Umerov highlighted the significance of defense technologies, which will play a central role in Ukraine’s defense agenda for 2024. He pointed out that while Russia had invested heavily in FPV drones, Ukraine had made progress in developing its countermeasures.
“Despite a sixfold artillery advantage, the enemy failed to achieve any significant results. Imagine how the situation on the battlefield would change if the proportions were 1 to 1,” Umerov said.
In his address, Umerov encouraged collaboration and investment in defense technologies, joint production, and long-term contracts with interested companies. He emphasized that Ukraine could outsmart Russian forces through an asymmetric approach, including technology integration, precise decision-making, and coordination.
“In just two months, the terrorist regime unleashed over 600 rockets and more than 1000 Shahed drones on Ukrainian cities. The number of Shahed drones launched increased by over a third,” Umerov said.
Despite facing thousands of rocket attacks from Russia in recent months, Umerov mentioned that Ukraine’s air defense capabilities had improved significantly. The country had also focused on building fortifications and investing in technologies to enhance its defense.
“Despite their resources and advantage in weapon production, Russia has not made significant progress toward achieving its strategic objectives,” Umerov said. “The entire Russian military machine is operating at full capacity to attack small Ukrainian villages.”
Umerov also thanked countries that have taken the lead in developing coalition capabilities:
– The United States, Denmark, and the Netherlands – Aviation Coalition
– France – Artillery Coalition
– Great Britain and Norway – Naval Coalition
– Germany and Poland – Armored Coalition
– Estonia and Luxembourg – IT Coalition
– Lithuania – Demining Coalition
He also expressed his gratitude to the United States, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Norway, and other partners for military cooperation.
Umerov added that recently Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense established a two-tier procurement system based on NATO principles.
In conclusion, Minister Umerov conveyed Ukraine’s determination to defend its sovereignty and expressed gratitude to its international partners for their support in developing Ukraine’s military potential. He underlined the importance of innovation and technology in maintaining a strategic advantage in the ongoing war.
“We can outsmart the enemy by applying an asymmetric approach. Through technology integration, training, precise decision-making, and coordination. By improving personnel selection, supply chain management, and digital solutions. This will provide us with technological and strategic superiority,” he concluded.
Rustem Umerov assumed the role of Ukraine’s Defense Minister in September 2023, replacing Oleksiy Reznikov. Umerov is actively engaged in international discussions, including negotiations with the US and Belgium for defense support, as well as proposing Türkiye’s participation in a Black Sea security coalition. His call for Ukrainian expatriates to join the military and his role in advocating for enhanced maritime security in the Black Sea underscore his dedication to bolstering Ukraine’s defense capabilities and international partnerships.
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