Ukraine Secures Desperately Needed Lifeline

( – It took months of fighting before the US Congress sent Ukraine more military aid. It’s unclear whether lawmakers will approve more when that runs out. But the country just received a much-needed lifeline from an unexpected source.

On May 27, Spain announced it was providing $1.1 billion of military aid this year. The government has also pledged $5.4 billion for 2024-2027. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the equipment was going to alleviate the Eastern European nation’s “key capacity needs.”

Reports indicate the Spanish government is sending 19 Leopard 2A4 tanks, a dozen Patriot anti-aircraft missiles, counter-drone equipment, and ammunition.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a news conference at the Spanish capital on the day of the announcement. He said he’s still in talks with Spain about bolstering his country’s air defenses. Currently, he needs seven US-made Patriot air defense systems because he said they will stop Russian planes from flying “close enough to drop the [glide] bombs on the civilian population and the military.”

Glide bombs (also called stand-off bombs) are Soviet-era bombs with pop-out wings. They travel longer distances after they are dropped because they glide. When they hit the ground, they are so heavy that they destroy everything and create massive craters. The bombs have been used to raze Ukrainian cities.

A glide bomb was used in an attack in Kharkiv on a shopping mall on May 25. At least 18 people died.

The day after announcing the agreement with Spain, Zelenskyy inked another agreement with Belgium. It’s worth about $1 billion and will include the delivery of 30 F-16 fighter jets. The first shipment of aircraft will arrive this year, and Belgium will send the rest by 2028.

In a statement, Zelenskyy said the agreement guarantees Ukraine will receive “modern armored vehicles […] naval security, mine clearance, participation in the artillery ammunition coalition and military training.”

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