- Moscow has frequently urged Washington to refrain from arming Ukraine, claiming that such actions would "throw fuel on the fire."
- However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other top officials have requested heavy weapons from their partners to support the country's soldiers as they resist Russia's military advance.
The Biden administration promised to continue assisting Ukraine “for as long as it takes” in fending off Russia’s ongoing invasion. The United States has unveiled a new $775 million military aid package for Ukraine.
Without providing any additional information, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Friday that the support will include “additional armaments, munitions, and equipment” from the Department of Defense inventory.
The administration has provided approximately $10.6 billion in total in security assistance to Ukraine. “President [Joe] Biden has been clear that we will continue to support the people of Ukraine in defending their country from Russia’s aggression for as long as it takes,” he said.
He added that these tools were “specifically calibrated to make the maximum effect on the battlefield and boost Ukraine’s position at the bargaining table.”
Despite the fact that it was not specified in the announcement which weaponry will be delivered to Kyiv, a senior US defence official had earlier Friday told reporters that mine-resistant vehicles would be included in the aid package for the first time.
Speaking under the condition of anonymity, the official said the support will include roughly 1,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles, 40 MRAPs (mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles), 15 Scan Eagle observation drones, and other equipment.
The official added that 16 105mm Howitzer systems and more ammunition will also be sent.
The defence official stated, “With this package, we are ensuring that Ukraine has a consistent stream of ammunition to suit its needs.
The insider noted without going into further detail that while this is the first time the US is giving Ukraine Scan Eagle drones, Ukraine has previously received them from another nation.
As it approaches the halfway point, the conflict in Ukraine has evolved into an attrition-based war fought mostly in the east and south of the nation.
Defense policy analyst Phillips O’Brien noted on Twitter that the new list of US weapons seemed to be “for when the Ukrainians are ready to undertake a major advance.”
Overnight on Friday, reports of explosions near military bases in remote, Russian-controlled regions of Ukraine and inside Russia were made.
In televised remarks, Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, claimed that Ukrainian officials’ claims that they have struck infrastructure in the Russian-occupied Crimea represent “an escalation of the conflict openly backed by the United States and its NATO partners.”
Moscow has frequently urged Washington to refrain from arming Ukraine, claiming that such actions would “throw fuel on the fire.”
However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other top officials have requested heavy weapons from their partners to support the country’s soldiers as they resist Russia’s military advance.
Since August 2021, the Pentagon has given Ukraine weaponry from Department of Defense inventories 19 times, the most recent being the US support package revealed on Friday.
Tactical drones and HIMARS rocket systems, sometimes known as HIMARS, were among the weapons included in earlier packages.