US announces $400m military aid as Russia attacks Ukraine

In response to Russia’s ground offensive in northeast Ukraine, the United States declared a new military aid package worth $400 million for Kyiv on Friday.

This marks the third aid package extended to Ukraine in less than three weeks, totaling $7 billion, signifying Washington’s determination to bolster support after months of limited assistance.

President Joe Biden, through a White House memo, authorized the provision of “up to $400 million in defense articles and services of the Department of Defense, and military education and training” to aid Ukraine.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized that the package encompasses crucial capabilities such as air defense munitions, artillery rounds, anti-tank weapons, armored vehicles, and small arms ammunition.

“The United States and the international coalition we have assembled will continue to stand with Ukraine in its defense of its freedom,” Blinken affirmed, underlining the commitment to Ukraine’s defense amidst escalating tensions.

The announcement coincided with Russia’s intensification of pressure on Kyiv through a ground offensive into Ukraine’s Kharkiv region. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reported a “fierce battle” ensuing in response to this aggression, highlighting the gravity of the situation.

Amidst warnings from Kyiv officials regarding potential attacks from Moscow on northeastern border regions, Ukraine has faced challenges, including delays in Western aid and manpower shortages.

The United States has been a significant military supporter, providing over $50 billion in weapons, ammunition, and security assistance since Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

Before April 24, however, Washington had announced aid for Ukraine only once this year—a $300 million package in March—prompting concerns.

Congressional approval for large-scale funding had been pending for nearly eighteen months, but after intense debates, the US House of Representatives authorized $95 billion in aid funding, including $61 billion for Ukraine, which was subsequently signed into law by President Biden.

In response to these developments, Washington promptly released a $1 billion military assistance package from American stocks after the legislation was signed.

This was followed by an additional $6 billion in security aid procured from the defense industry, demonstrating a concerted effort to reinforce Ukraine’s defense capabilities amidst escalating tensions in the region.

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