Australia to send army vehicles to Ukraine

Australia will send Bushmaster armoured vehicles to Ukraine following a request by the war-torn nation’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Apr 01, 2022, updated Apr 01, 2022
Image: ABC

Image: ABC

Mr Zelenskiy addressed the Australian parliament on Thursday evening saying peace needed to be decided on the battlefield and warned Russian aggression posed a direct threat to Australia.

“You have very good armoured vehicles, Bushmasters, that could help Ukraine substantially, and other pieces of equipment could strengthen our position in terms of armaments,” he told the parliament.

“If you have an opportunity to share these with us, we would be very grateful. In Ukraine, they will do much more for our common freedom and common security than staying parked on your land.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the request would be met.

“We will send our armoured vehicles, Bushmasters … and we will fly them over in our C-17s (aircraft) to make sure they can be there to support (Ukraine),” Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

Earlier, Defence Minister Peter Dutton said the ADF was going through its logistics.

“We might only be able to upload three or four Bushmasters onto a C-17 (military transport aircraft) at once. The other option is we can try and source something out of Germany or France or somewhere else in Europe.”

The defence minister noted timelines did not allow for the usual process of sending the vehicles by ship.

Before Zelenskiy’s address, the federal government also announced a further $25 million in defensive military equipment for the besieged nation.

The package includes tactical decoys, unmanned aerial and ground systems, rations and medical supplies.

Morrison used his opening remarks to the address to brand Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal.

“Ukraine and Australia are separated by half the earth. Our languages, accents, histories and cultures are different but we share an affinity for democracy or freedom,” Mr Morrison told the president and the parliament.

“Mr President, you have our praise. But you also have our weapons, our humanitarian aid, our sanctions against those who seek to deny your freedom.”

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese likened Russia’s invasion to the devastation wrought by Hitler in World War II, saying Putin’s aggression was prefaced by a “poisonous, nationalistic lie”.

“As you stand up to this latest tyrant, you are showing us what true courage is,” Mr Albanese said.

“It is the courage that is embodied by you (President Zelenskiy). You are fighting for your country and your people.”

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