NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Thursday that member countries have delivered over 98% of the promised combat vehicles to Ukraine, providing Kyiv with greater military strength as it prepares for a possible counteroffensive against Russian forces.
In addition to the 1,550 armored vehicles and 230 tanks, NATO nations have also supplied “vast amounts of ammunition” and trained and equipped more than nine new Ukrainian brigades, which together comprise over 30,000 troops.
Stoltenberg stated that this support will enable Ukraine to retake occupied territory, giving them a stronger bargaining position in any future peace negotiations.
The announcement came a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported a conversation with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, which did not appear to have an immediate impact on peace prospects.
While Russia and Ukraine remain far apart on terms for peace, Beijing has refrained from criticizing Moscow’s invasion, seeing Russia as a diplomatic ally in opposing US influence.
As fighting continues, Russian forces have continued to bombard Ukrainian areas, resulting in civilian casualties.
On Wednesday and Thursday, at least seven civilians were killed and 33 were injured, including a child, when Kalibr cruise missiles hit the southern city of Mykolaiv.
According to Ukraine’s Operational Command South, the missiles that hit the southern city of Mykolaiv were launched from ships or submarines in the Black Sea.