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Ukraine’s new commander joins Ramstein meeting for the first time

As Russia intensifies its offensive in eastern Ukraine, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces attends the meeting of the contact group on Ukraine’s defense in the Ramstein format, seeking urgent support from over 50 allies.
Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi (on the left), Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, and spy chief Kyrylo Budanov (on the right). Credit: Rustem Umerov.
Ukraine’s new commander joins Ramstein meeting for the first time

The newly appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi participated in the 19th meeting of the contact group on Ukraine’s defense in the Ramstein format, which has begun today, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Rustem Umerov informed.

The meeting of Ukrainian allies is devoted to the urgent measures needed to strengthen Ukraine’s defense in the face of Russia’s ongoing winter offensive in eastern Ukraine, the suspension of US military aid, and the acute shortage of ammunition in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Over 50 countries are represented by their officials at the Ramstein meeting, both online and in person.

Ukraine’s representatives, including Defense Minister Rustem Umerov and Ukraine’s intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov, participate in the Ramstein meeting held in Brussels on the sidelines of the NATO Defense Ministers’ Meeting online.

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According to Rustem Umerov, the Ramstein meeting will focus on increasing defense production and drones, as well as preparing for both long-term challenges and addressing immediate needs.

In his opening remarks, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who is also participating in the meeting online, stated that all of Ukraine’s allies are committed to providing military assistance to Ukraine and will “not back down” in their support.

It is the first time that Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi has participated in the Ramstein meeting online as Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. He succeeded Valerii Zaluzhnyi on 8 February 2024.

The new Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, inherits a difficult situation at the frontline, where Russian troops make creeping gains with the usual strategy of expending lives – a tolerable loss given Russia’s greater manpower.

The challenges are severe: Russia has gone into overdrive allocating resources to the war, outspending the West’s contribution to Ukraine twofold. Ukrainian frontline troops face a shortage of artillery, and badly needed aid faces an indefinite holdup in the US Congress.


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