BMWORLDWIDE–KIIV-In a forum hosted today in Germany by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, nearly 40 nations met to discuss current and future efforts to provide support for Ukraine in maintaining its sovereignty. “We’re all coming away with a transparent and shared understanding of the challenge that the Ukrainians face,” Austin said during a press briefing that followed the conference. “I know that we’re all determined to help Ukraine win today and build strength for tomorrow. The work that we’ve done together in record time has made a huge difference on the battlefield.”
In language which brought parallels to the victories of Jesse Owens and Joe Louis against Hitler’s Germany in the 1930s, Austin said, “This gathering reflects the galvanized world.” In 1936, Jesse Owens would emerge victorious as an Olympic sprinter with four gold medals in Berlin. Two years later, Joe Louis would defeat Max Schmelling in a rematch in a one round knockout. One million African-Americans would serve in the military in World War II.
“Ukraine believes that it can win and everyone here believes it too. Ukraine needs our help to win today and they will still need our help when the war is over.” Austin added, “You should know that we have your back.”
During the briefing, Austin announced that several nations have agreed to step up support for Ukraine, even beyond the valuable work they are already doing.
The German government, for instance, agreed to provide 50 Cheetah anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine. The British government also agreed to provide Ukraine with anti-aircraft capabilities, Austin said, along with Canada’s offer of eight armored vehicles.
“That’s important progress,” Austin said. “We’re seeing more every day. I applaud all of the countries that have risen and are rising to meet this demand. But we don’t have any time to waste. The briefings today laid out clearly why the coming weeks will be so crucial for Ukraine, so we’ve got to move at the speed of war. And I know that all the leaders leave today more resolved than ever to support Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression and atrocities.”