20 Bushmasters to be flown to Ukraine today

Twenty Bushmaster armoured vehicles worth $50 million will be flown to Ukraine today following an appeal by for Australia to step up its aid to the beleaguered nation.

Defence minister Peter Dutton was at RAAF base, Ipswich this morning to see specially painted Bushmasters (pictured) loaded aboard a RAAF C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft for transit to Europe.

Painted olive green with a prominent Ukranian flag with the words “United with Ukraine”, and equipped with additional armour, twenty vehicles have been readied for the trip, including two ambulance variants.

Earlier Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy made a speech to federal parliament calling for Australia to send the country weapons systems including the Bushmaster.

Dutton told Channel 9 news that this morning’s departure was the sixth Globemaster flight from Australia taking aid to Ukraine.

Each Globemaster can carry four Bushmasters, which weigh up to 18 tonnes.

Dutton said: “There is humanitarian assistance, there is medications, there is clothing for winter.

“We have done a lot.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko said the people of Ukraine were grateful for ‘this act of mateship’.

Myroshnychenko said: “The number of civilian casualties is staggering. The crimes of the Russian military is appalling.

“We do hope we’ll be able to force Russia out of the country and we can get back to normal life.

“It boosts morale and it helps them see the world is supporting them,”

The personnel carriers provide protection against mines, artillery shrapnel and small arms fire.

Picture: Channel 9/Bushmaster at RAAF base Ipswich, Queensland

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