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Well, the war has entered a new stage in recent weeks as dozens of tanks were pledged by European allies to aid in Ukraine's defense, with some already on their way. Leading the charge in that effort is Poland, which in late January stressed that even if other countries did not want to send tanks, Poland would. Joining us now, Polish Chief of Defense General Rej and Jacek. And it is really good to have you on board. Poland has stepped up immediately with no debate in so many ways. Tell us about your visit here and your message to America and other partnering nations in the aid of Ukraine. Very good morning.
Ukraine is absolutely extremely important for Poland, is extremely important for region with global implications. On our very first day, we started our support in many domains, starting from the human approach, absorbing eight millions Ukrainians crossing the border, a few millions still staying in Poland. Then we started social programs, medical programs, education for them. And immediately we started preparation and sending equipment, ammunition and anything they need for victory. For victory. General, since the war began, Poland, the center of gravity of NATO and of the EU seems to have moved east and to Poland. Basically, Poland is an increasingly incredibly important country.
Now, how is that going down in Poland? How are Poles reacting to their new central place in Europe? Well, it's you can feel every single single day that the center of gravity from a historical Cold War time design moved from Germany to Poland to Warsaw. And your strategy matters and also geography matters. And now we're aspirations of the Western civilization as well. So nothing happened without the Poland. We investing heavily in the security from the very beginning. We have a 3% GDP and we have an entire list of very important modernization programs, most of the high tech equipment comes from the US fifth generation airplane. The High Mars is very famous.
You see, you know, effectiveness and one tanks as well. The most modern combat platforms and variety of different programs. And we're going to do more. But the first is just to win when Ukraine because Ukraine matters. Ukraine is a basic platform for security. One hundred years ago, then Moshe Pysiwski, he said free Ukraine, free Poland is direct connection, direct relations and has after one hundred years still. So, General, we're about two weeks away from the one year anniversary of Russia's invasion. Obviously, it's not gone the way Vladimir Putin thought it would go.
But I'm curious for your assessment as someone who studies and understands war and specifically this war, where things stand and where you think they're going into the second year. Very difficult question because mostly it goes to the politics, to the economy. So we need Ukraine winning in the political domain, in the economical domain. They need money. They need resources. They need effective sanctions. And, of course, one of the conditions will be the military operation, which is which is critical. But situation is still very dangerous, very important, dramatic from a more point of view. But it's definitely decisive. What we do today, it goes to eternity. If we not do, it goes as well.
So now or never. Elizabeth. So, what Vladimir Putin seems willing to accept massive, massive Russian casualties. Think back to the Second World War particularly. How long is this? Is this indefinite for him? Is he willing to stretch this out for the very important years? Yeah, I give you a very much Polish flavor perspective. We live in the space 1000 years ago. So we know the Russians. That's the way they find it. This is no surprise for us. The standards for Russian army, for Russian society is completely different than the standard. And the Western matrix. So do not compare Russians using Western standards.
What you see behaving performance, you know, how much the suffering and still are ready to go. It's absolutely different than the Western society. So please do not assess Russians in our standards because they are completely different. Let's talk about first of all, I just want to help with what Gene said about it's remarkable that Poland now finds itself where West Germany was. From 1945 to 1989, you guys are on the front lines of freedom. And as such, I thought it was fascinating. Couple weeks ago, you pushed the Germans to move with tanks. The Germans then pushed the Americans saying, we'll do it, but you all have to do it as well.
And so Poland was a real leader there. I'm curious. What difference do you think that's going to make over the next year? And what else do the Ukrainians need that they don't have right now? Sir, from the very beginning, our willingness to send equipment was absolutely critical. So I got a very clear message from my political master to send as much as we can and as much as they need. So there was no dozens, hundreds of equipment is going to Ukraine. And of course, from many operational reasons, military reasons, Ukraine needs to change to the Western platforms because ammunition and because much better.
So Poland, from the very beginning, started to promote idea to build a multinational component. And we offering a platform for training for integration for the new tanks. So that was the reason because we are frontline and we would like to motivate and inspire anybody. So we just offer a platform, but waiting for some additional supplies. Well, one other quick question. We always talk about weapons, but let's talk about training. 2014 was a disastrous military campaign for the Ukrainians. After that, they started training with NATO, started training with Poles. They started training with Americans.
Talk about the difference of how the Ukrainians are now fighting and we have NCOs that go out, can make decisions on the move. The difference between having a bottom up approach and warfare and the Russian top down approach. How big of a difference is that training made over the past year? It was absolutely huge difference. And I think one of the critical factors that the Ukrainian army so effective is a change in philosophy of leadership. So mission command given authority very much now, which is much more Western oriented. The Russians, they're going, you know, still in a very vertical decision making process, waiting for permission. And it doesn't work.
So that kind of change and investing in the NCO core as well is absolutely crucial. So the human factor matters. Well, the story of Poland really being a central player on the world stage is happening right now. And Poland really stepped up. Your father would be proud. He would be so proud taking in millions of people and stepping up in the fight with one hundred percent resolve. I would say I'm proud to be a Polish-American. Really, really incredible story. Polish chief of defense, General Ray and Jay Chuk. Thank you very much for being with us. Did you say your name right? Oh, absolutely. Perfect pronunciation. That was that was proud. Thank you about.
OK, coming up. .