The hidden ‘Australian’ message on Zelensky’s iconic polo shirt during his meeting with Anthony Albanese
- President Zelensky gave subtle nod to Australia with kangaroo on sleeve
- Albanese met Ukraine President for first time announcing $100million support
- Australia will provide 34 additional armoured Bushmasters vehicles to Ukraine
The image captures the two leaders smiling arm in arm with Mr Zelensky’s showing off the insignia featuring a kangaroo next to his nation’s blue and yellow flag and the message: ‘United with Ukraine’.
Australia has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine since Russia’s bloody invasion began in February, providing millions of dollars in military and humanitarian aid.
The two leaders (Anthony Albanese, left, Volodymyr Zelensky, right) smiling arm in arm with Mr Zelensky’s showing off the velcro patch featuring a kangaroo next to his nation’s blue and yellow flag and the message ‘United with Ukraine’
Australia’s military support is all branded with Ukraine’s flag stencilled on each side and the words ‘United with Ukraine’ in both English and Ukrainian along with a kangaroo
Mr Albanese pledged further support for Ukraine during the trip as well as tighter sanctions on Russia.
Australia will provide 34 additional armoured vehicles to Ukraine as part of a $100 million military aid package and prohibit Russian gold imports.
The vehicles will include 14 armoured personnel carriers and 20 Bushmasters.
Speaking in Kyiv alongside President Zelenskiy, Mr Albanese said Australia would also impose sanctions and travel bans on 16 more Russian ministers and oligarchs.
This brings the total number of Russian individuals sanctioned by Australia to 843.
Australia will also help bolster Ukraine’s border guard service with management equipment to enhance field operations.
Australia will provide 34 additional armoured vehicles to Ukraine (Bushmaster vehicle, pictured)
‘Australia stands ready to continue to support the government and the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes for Ukraine to emerge victorious in defence of your national sovereignty and your homeland,’ Mr Albanese told the Ukraine president.
‘Because you are fighting for the international rule of law, you are fighting for international rules in which we conduct our activity to be respected and to occur in an orderly way.’
Mr Zelensky said he was grateful to Australia for their assistance.
‘We must strengthen international co-operation in order to break Russia’s aggressive potential,’ Mr Zelenskiy said.
‘We must increase the sanctions pressure on the aggressor.’
‘More than 2000 settlements in the east and south of Ukraine have yet to be liberated. I offered Australia to take part in the post-war reconstruction and I am grateful for the willingness to join the implementation of this, I am sure, ambitious project.’
Albanese met Ukraine President for first time announcing $100million in further support for the war-torn country. Pictured: Australia military personnel in Ukraine to drop off aid
Australia will also help bolster Ukraine’s border guard service with management equipment to enhance field operations. Pictured: Australian military equipment in Ukraine
In April the first Australian M777 howitzers arrived in Ukraine, featuring the United with Ukraine kangaroo branding, the same symbol which the Ukrainian president wore in his meeting with Mr Albanese.
Last month Ukrainian soldiers sung the praises of Australian aid, in particular the Bushmasters and pled for more Australian machinery to be sent.
The Bushmaster, nicknamed ‘The Bushy’, is an 11-tonne armoured military vehicle designed to deploy up to 10 soldiers to the battlefield.
The 20 vehicles originally sent to Ukraine were refitted for duty after being ‘retired’ after serving Afghanistan and emergency relief zones.
They were repainted olive green with Ukraine’s flag stencilled on each side and the words ‘United with Ukraine’ in both English Ukrainian along with a kangaroo bounding next to a Ukrainian flag.
What is a Bushmaster?
The Bushmaster Protected Military Vehicle (PMV) – or Infantry Mobility Vehicle – is an Australian built, four-wheel drive armoured vehicle that has seen action in several wars and is designed to carry up to 10 soldiers to the battlefield.
Nicknamed ‘the Bushy’, the vehicle is built to withstand any environment and protect troops from bomb blasts, and were widely used by the Australian Defence Force during the conflict in Afghanistan.
The Bushmaster can carry mortars and other heavier weapons, and can also be equipped with machine guns and other military equipment.
It can also carry enough fuel and supplies to operate for three days without resupply and has a central tyre inflation system allowing it to function with punctures.
- First produced: 1997
- Number built: 1,195
- Cost: $500,000 (AUD)
- Crew: One driver, nine passengers
- Weight: 11 – 15 tonnes
- Designed by: Australian Defence Industries (ADI)
- Currently produced by: Thales Australia (formerly ADI)
- Used in: War in Afghanistan, Iraq War, East Timor, Golan Heights, Iraqi Civil War, Syrian Civil War, Northern Mali Conflict
- Used by: Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Fiji, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, The Netherlands. (Several others, including the United States , France and Spain, have expressed an interest)
- Variants: Several versions of ‘The Bushy’ have been produced. These include: Troop, Command, Air Defence, Ambulance, Assault Pioneer, Mortar variant, Direct Fire Weapons, General Maintenance.