Defense Minister offers Western manufacturers ‘a good chance’ to test weapons on Ukrainian battlefield
Ukraine has invited foreign arms manufacturers to use it as a polygon-like site to test new weapons under battlefield conditions, the country’s Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov said on Tuesday.
In an interview with Atlantic Council, a US-based think tank, Reznikov said that in his view Ukraine can already be considered “essentially a testing ground.”
“Many weapons are now tested in the field, in real battle conditions against the Russian army, which has many modern systems of its own,” he explained.
Stressing that Ukraine is a reliable partner and needs all kinds of weapons, Reznikov revealed that the government is interested in strengthening the “Proving Ground” potential.
“We share all information and experiences with our partners. We are interested in testing modern systems in the fight against the enemy and we invite arms manufacturers to test their new products here,” said the Minister of Defense.
He added that his offer could provide “good luck” for Poland, USA, France, Germany and other countries “test [their] equipment.”
“Give us the tools, we will finish the job and you will have new informationsaid Reznikov.
Expressing his gratitude to the United States and its allies for the ongoing arms deliveries, the Minister underlined that to successfully combat Russian forces and especially to carry out a counterattack, Ukraine needs more weapons, “fast and in sufficient quantity.”
He specified that above all, kyiv needs air and anti-rocket defense systems, long-range weapons, anti-ship missiles, aviation, tanks and armored vehicles.
Reznikov also praised the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) provided by the United States and added that “for an effective counter-offensive“Ukraine would need at least 100.
As of July 8, the United States has provided 12 HIMARS systems to Ukraine. The White House revealed Tuesday that a new military aid package to be announced this week will include more of these weapons systems.
Meanwhile, Moscow has constantly warned Western countries against supplying arms to Ukraine, saying that this will not prevent Russian forces from achieving all the objectives of their military operation, but will lead to an extension of the conflict and unnecessary losses. Russia also clarified that any foreign weapons on Ukrainian territory would be considered a legitimate target.
Earlier this month, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that the country’s forces had destroyed two HIMARS launchers in Donbass.
The Russian military also claims that some of the weapons sent by the West to Ukraine”spread throughout the Middle East region and also end up in the black market.”
Kyiv describes these allegations as “Propaganda.”