The Australian Government has announced it will provide further support to the Government of Ukraine by gifting 20 Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles, including two ambulance variants, to aid the Government of Ukraine’s response to Russia’s aggression.
In a joint statement, Prime Minister, Scott Morrison said Australia’s response followed a direct request from President Zelenskyy during his address to the Australian Parliament on 31 March.
The Bushmaster was built in Australia to provide protected mobility transport, safely moving soldiers to a battle area prior to dismounting for close combat.
Defence Minister, Peter Dutton said the Bushmaster was well suited to provide protection to the Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers and Ukrainian civilians against mines and improvised explosive devices, shrapnel from artillery and small arms fire.
The 20 vehicles are painted olive green to suit the operating environment. Additionally, a Ukrainian flag is painted on either side with the words ‘United with Ukraine’ stencilled in English and Ukrainian to acknowledge our commitment and support to the Government and people of Ukraine. The ambulances will have the traditional Red Cross emblem.
The Bushmasters will be fitted with radios, a global positioning system and additional bolt-on armour increasing their protection.
Defence will continue to work with the Government of Ukraine to develop a suitable logistics support package, while training will be conducted through Army video training with Ukrainian subtitles, Mr Dutton said.
“To date, Australia has committed a total of around $116 million of Defensive Military Assistance to Ukraine, the addition of these vehicles takes our commitment to around $165 million.”
“In addition, Australia is delivering 70,000 tonnes of coal to power Ukraine’s resistance, on top of $65 million in humanitarian assistance for the people of Ukraine, with a focus on protecting women, children and the elderly, including for food, shelter and emergency medical supplies.
“The Government will not disclose further specific details of delivery arrangements at the direct request of Ukrainian officials and our other partners.”
He said the Australian Government would continue to identify opportunities for further Defensive Military Assistance where it is able to provide a required capability to the Ukraine Armed Forces expeditiously.
“Australia stands with the Government and people of Ukraine, and calls on Russia to cease its unprovoked, unjust and illegal invasion of Ukraine. The Australian Government will continue to take steps, together with our partners, to ensure Russia pays the highest possible price for its actions,” said Mr Dutton.