Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s plea to Australia to deliver essential military equipment in the battle against Russia has been answered.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s plea to Australia to deliver essential military equipment in the battle against Russia has been answered four days later.
On Thursday, President Zelensky made a plea to the Australia parliament, specifically requesting Bushmaster armoured vehicles.
The Bushmaster armoured carriers are built to carry up to 10 troops in a blast-resistant shell. The French company Thales manufactures them in the central Victorian town of Bendigo.
It has been credited for saving countless Australian lives in Afghanistan and has been sold to the British SAS, The Netherlands and Jamaica. Each one costs in excess of $500,000.
The key to its success is the heavily armoured V-shaped hull that directs blast away from the maximum of 10 occupants.
Four ADF Bushmasters have since been repainted, refitted, and are “already on their way to the RAAF Base in Amberley to be flown to Europe in just a matter of days,” Sky News host Peta Credlin confirmed.
The vehicles were refitted in Brisbane over the weekend after a mad rush by the government to figure out how to deliver the vehicles to Eastern Europe in time.
They will be flown to Europe on board a C-17 Globemaster, which can carry four at one time.
“Well done, Prime Minister, well done, Peter Dutton – you’ve done the right thing, and you’ve done it quickly. Let’s hope there’s many more Bushmasters on their way,” Ms Credlin said.
Scott Morrison on Friday morning said the Commonwealth would send Bushmaster troop carriers to the eastern European nation to support its resistance against the Russian invasion, now in its second month.
The Prime Minister was light on the details and it is yet to be made clear how many Bushmasters will be sent to Ukraine, when they will get there, or how much it will cost.
Mr Zelensky addressed Australia’s parliament last Thursday night via video link, asking for the armoured vehicles as part of an impassioned plea for greater military support to arm Ukrainians “fighting against evil”.
“For example you have very good armoured personnel vehicle, Bushmaster, that could help Ukraine substantially and other pieces of equipment that could strengthen our position in terms of armament,” Mr Zelensky said through a translator.
“If you have an opportunity to share this with us we would be very grateful. In Ukraine they will do much more for our common freedom and our common security than staying parked on your land.”
Following his address, Mr Morrison announced the federal government would commit an additional $25m in military aid to Ukraine.
Mr Morrison on Friday thanked Mr Zelensky for speaking to Australia in what he said had been a “truly majestic occasion”.
“We are sending our guns, ammunitions, humanitarian aid, all of this, our body armour, all of these things,” he told reporters in western Sydney.