Defence has supplied drones to Ukraine in addition to all kinds of other military equipment. That information has entered the Spring Memorandum ‘by abu’, says Minister Ollongren today in a letter to the House of Representatives. Incidentally, it is not about armed drones; the Dutch army does not yet have that.
NATO has previously requested Member States to be very reluctant to share information on military support to Ukraine. The cabinet therefore did not want to disclose the supply of drones, but for unclear reasons, the information is still included in the Spring Note.
More than 130 million euro support
In addition, that note also mentioned an incorrect amount. Defence reported in the Spring Memorandum that at that time 73 million euros of military equipment, drones and field hospitals had been delivered. A Defence spokesman tells DecceIt that this was an “old sum”.
By mid-May, when the Spring Note was sent, 102 million euros of military aid had already been sent to Ukraine. Ollongren now writes that the Netherlands has provided more than 130.4 million euros in material support.
Defence cannot provide additional information about which drones were sent to Ukraine, and how much. Presumably it concerns reconnaissance drones.
Armored howitzer training in full swing
The five armoured howitzers that the Netherlands has committed to Ukraine has also become more known in recent times. These mobile artillery guns, with a range of up to 50 kilometers, are not yet on their way to the battlefield.
Ukrainian soldiers are currently receiving training in Germany to operate the armoured howitzers. When this trajectory is completed and the armored vehicles go to Ukraine, Ollongren was unable to say in the House yesterday. However, she said that the training is going well.
Already with the announcement that the Netherlands was going to send armoured howitzers, it was explicitly said that it would take a while before they could be deployed properly and properly. They are advanced weapons and there is much more to it than just learning to aim and shoot.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the West has gradually supplied heavier weapons to Kiev. In the beginning, the Netherlands sent shrapnel jackets, helmets and sniper rifles. The armoured howitzers are, as far as known, the heaviest weapons that the Netherlands has pledged to Ukraine.
Recently, at the request of NATO, much less has been announced about which military support Member States are pledging or sending. On the one hand, to reduce the risk of further escalation of the conflict. On the other hand, to give Russia less insight into exactly what support Kiev is getting.
Bombs to consumer drones
Earlier this week, DecceIt reported that Ukrainian battle groups are deploying consumer drones to attack the Russian army. Anti-tank grenades are attached to these unmanned drones and then thrown onto army units. By filming these actions and publishing them online, Ukrainian resistance groups are able to attract new lenders to fund their fight.