“Long Hand Family of Ukrainian Amry has been enlarged: the first MLRS M270 have arrived! They will be good company for the HIMARS on the battlefield. Thank you to our partners. No mercy to the enemy," Reznikov wrote on Twitter.

 

 

Earlier, in an interview with the BBC, the Ukrainian defence minister said that ending the war by the end of the year was "realistic if our partners continue to help us, no doubt that they are helping the winner. Because earlier they thought that we would lose, that we would surrender Kyiv in three days, and that's why they didn't help us much, they only supported us."

 

Now, according to the minister, plans for a Ukrainian counter-offensive need to be synchronised with Western assistance not only in the form of weapons but also in the continuation of tougher sanctions against Russia.

 

“This is a serious global project," he assessed.

 

Referring to the recent rocket attacks in Ukraine - including in Vinnytsia, where at least 23 people were killed on Thursday - Reznikov stressed that the losses would have been even higher had it not been for Ukraine's air defence, which shot down 50 per cent of the rockets flying at Ukrainian cities.

 

Ukraine must strengthen its air and missile defences, he stressed. He pointed out that two NASAMS air defence systems were included in the announced US aid package.

 

“But this does not mean that two systems can protect the entire sky of Ukraine,” he said.

 

The minister expressed confidence that Ukraine would also receive aircraft from its partners.

 

“The question is what kind. Because if anyone thinks that F-16s will solve the problem, they are deeply mistaken. Our airports are not ready for F-16s (...) There are other aircraft of a modern standard, for example, the Swedish-made Saab JAS 39 Gripen,” he announced.