US Announces New $725 Million Military Assistance Program for Ukraine | Russia–Ukraine War

The new aid is aimed at replenishing ammunition for advanced weapon systems used in Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

US to send Ukraine an additional $725 million in weapons and other military assistance, White House says, as Washington adds to wave of aid pledges European allies this week amid renewed Russian missile attacks on Kyiv and other targets.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Friday that the aid follows “brutal Russian missile attacks on civilians across Ukraine” and “growing evidence of atrocities committed by Russian forces”. .

As “Ukrainian defenders repel Russian forces,” the United States remains united with Ukraine, Blinken said later in a tweet.

Washington’s latest military package includes more ammo for HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) and bring the total US military assistance to Ukraine to $18.3 billion since the start of Joe Biden’s administration, the Department of Defense said in a separate statement.

The United States has sent 20 HIMARS to Ukraine and promised 18 more to be delivered in the coming years. HIMARS proved to be a critical weapon which has improved Ukraine’s ability to strike munitions depots, bridges and other key targets that erode Russia’s ability to resupply its troops.

Officials said the new US package is largely aimed at restocking thousands of rounds for weapons systems that Ukraine has used successfully in its counteroffensive against Russia as the war spreads across the country. his eighth month.

Ukraine’s immediate needs continue to be additional air defenses, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

“The Russians launched hundreds of rockets at major Ukrainian cities. Ukrainian forces managed to shoot down the missiles, but they need more air defense capabilities,” the statement said.

A senior defense official told Pentagon reporters that Russia fired more than 80 missiles at Ukrainian targets in a recent 24-hour period and Ukrainian air defenses were able to intercept about half of them.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the US assessment of the war, said the interceptions use a lot of ammunition as it is likely the Ukrainians fired more than one round at each missile incoming.

U.S. Aid Announcement Ceilings a series of allied engagements this week.

The UK said last week it would provide missiles for the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAM) which the Pentagon plans to send to Ukraine. The UK is also sending hundreds of drones and 18 artillery howitzers.

Germany has sent the first of four promised IRIS-T air defense systems; France promised more artillery, anti-aircraft systems and missiles; the Netherlands has said it will send missiles and Canada plans to send winter equipment, drone cameras and satellite communications.

Commitments come as Russia has stepped up its attackshitting the Kyiv region with suicide drones and firing missiles elsewhere at civilian targets, including a hospital, kindergarten and other buildings in the town of Nikopol, across the river from the nuclear power plant of Zaporizhzhia occupied by Russia.

The attacks were described as Russian revenge for the bombardment of the strategic bridge of Kerch linking Russia with annexed Crimea. Kremlin war hawks have urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to further intensify the bombing campaign to punish Ukraine for the recent truck bomb attack on the bridge.

Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

Russia’s upsurge in missile strikes also represents an urgent effort by Moscow to regain its footing as Ukraine’s fierce counteroffensive has recaptured towns and territories that Russia invaded early in the war.

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