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Biden announces additional $1B in weapons, humanitarian aid to Ukraine

Another $225 million from the U.S. might be directed towards aiding these inside Ukraine, supplying protected consuming water, medical provides, well being care, meals, shelter and cash for households to purchase essential gadgets.

The newest tranche of aid for the primary time contains two Harpoon anti-ship missile programs, in addition to 18 additional M777 Howitzers and the tactical autos to tow them plus 36,000 rounds of 155 mm ammunition, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin introduced throughout a information convention in Brussels on Wednesday.

Other nations have supplied coastal protection programs to Ukraine, together with a number of Harpoon programs from Denmark. But that is the primary time the U.S. is sending the weapons, which Ukrainian officers say are essential to countering assaults from Russia’s fleet in the Black Sea.

The U.S. will present a vehicle-mounted launcher that, married up with Harpoons supplied by allies, might be in a position to hearth the missiles from the shore to defend in opposition to Russia’s fleet, a senior protection official advised reporters after the announcement.

The Pentagon will concern a contract with trade for the brand new configuration in the approaching months, a second senior protection official stated. The proposal was certainly one of 1,300 submitted by the protection trade in response to the Defense Department’s solicitation for brand spanking new programs that might meet Ukraine’s artillery wants, the official stated.

“The Harpoon is intended for coastal defense,” the second official stated. “We’ve seen the negative impacts the Russian blockade has had, and continued … Ukrainian fears about Russia targeting Odessa and other critical ports around the Black Sea. So this is a capability that provides them significantly stronger deterrence.”

Germany may even present three Multiple Launch Rocket Systems and guided munitions, including to the three MLRS items from the U.Ok. and 4 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems from the U.S., Austin stated. The three nations are actually “working shoulder to shoulder” in coaching the Ukrainians to function the artillery as shortly as attainable, he added.

The U.S. will ship the HIMARS, together with absolutely educated Ukrainian crews, for “operational use” on the battlefield on the finish of the month, Gen. Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated in the course of the briefing.

Ukrainian officers have been clamoring for additional weaponry as Russian forces advance relentlessly in the Donbas area of japanese Ukraine. Zelenskyy has warned that with out additional western aid, japanese Ukraine will quickly fall.

While the HIMARS shouldn’t be “a silver bullet,” Milley famous that, if used appropriately, it can make a distinction on the battlefield. The prime Defense Department officers insisted they’re working across the clock to get Kyiv the assistance it wants.

“We are supporting the Ukrainian military as rapidly as is humanly possible,” Milley stated.

While a Russian win in the Donbas shouldn’t be “an inevitability,” Milley famous that “the numbers clearly favor the Russians. In terms of artillery, in terms of the numbers, they outgun and outrange.”

He additionally confirmed that Ukraine is shedding in the ballpark of 100-200 troopers per day in the battle.

Since Russia launched its assault in late February, the U.S. has supplied $5.6 billion in aid to Ukraine, John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications on the National Security Council, stated on the day by day White House press briefing on Wednesday. In whole, the administration has despatched $6.3 billion to the nation since Biden took workplace.

More than $914 million has been devoted to humanitarian help alone for these in Ukraine and people who have fled, Kirby stated.

Biden’s newest announcement of aid comes a month after the Senate authorized a $40 billion emergency aid bundle to fortify Ukraine with weapons and different navy help. And in April, Biden introduced an $800 million safety help bundle for Ukraine, which included heavy artillery weapons, tactical drones and 144,000 rounds of ammunition, together with $500 million in humanitarian aid to the nation.

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