Kyiv’s top envoy to Canberra has made a renewed plea for assistance, saying people in his home country are experiencing “staggering” suffering.
The Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl Myroshnychenko has asked for additional weaponry to be sent to the war-torn eastern European nation as it resists Russia’s military invasion, which has entered its third month.
Mr Myroshnychenko said Australia’s speed of providing military aid to Ukraine had been “unheard of” but he asked for more to be done.
“Send more bushmasters. Send more antitank missiles. Send whatever you can. Time is very valuable here,” he told the Australian Strategic Policy Institute on Tuesday.
“We just have no time, we just need it now. You’ve seen the atrocities that are committed in Bucha (and) other parts of the country.
“The level of suffering of the civilians is staggering.”
Australia has committed some $191.5m worth of military assistance to Ukraine since the conflict began on February 24.
Included in this was $26.5m for anti-armour weapons and ammunitions for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, announced by the federal government earlier this month.
The Morrison government also announced at the time it would send 20 Bushmaster protected troop carriers to Ukraine, in response to a direct plea to the Australian parliament from its President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has flagged providing further military assistance where possible.
Mr Myroshnychenko said on Tuesday there was also a great deal Australia could do to help with reparations in Ukraine when the conflict finally draws to a close.
“I hope this war will be over. This is where we will need your support,” he said, adding that Australia could assist with building infrastructure and mining rare earth metals.
He touched on the massacre that killed more than 400 civilians in the town of Bucha, which shocked the world after images were published of the dead lying in the streets, some with their hands tied behind their backs.
In response to the reports coming out of Bucha, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said earlier this month Australia would send experts to assist in a legal investigation of possible war crimes committed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mr Myroshnychenko said Ukraine had defied all expectations to resist Russia’s attack for as long as it had.
He said Ukraine was suffering “incalculable human costs” but he knew the people he had met in his new role as Ambassador would “stand up for the truth”.