The U.K. is buying Soviet- and Russian-made defense equipment to provide to the Ukrainians to help them fight off the Russian invaders, the country’s defense minister said.
“Large parts of the [ministry of defense] and defense attachés around the world have been looking,” Ben Wallace told reporters in Washington.
“Sometimes we’ve bumped into the Russians looking, by the way, in some countries, looking also for some of their resupplies because…they’re running out fast,” he said.
Mr. Wallace said 23 countries have stocks of Russian equipment.
“If you really want to get it to the Ukrainians tomorrow morning so they can continue to fight…find what they’re trained on, find what they need,” he said.
Afghanistan, which the Soviet Union invaded in 1979, likely has old stocks of Soviet gear, but Mr. Wallace suggested not even the Russians would venture there to buy arms.
The U.S. and U.K. governments have sought to reassure, and in some cases compensate, European countries that possess old Soviet- or Russian-made weapons, such as Bulgaria and Slovakia, bolstering their own military presence, providing security guarantees or offering to replace those systems with Western-made alternatives if they transfer their systems to Ukraine.