The United States will be providing an additional $600 million worth of military aid to Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia, the Department of Defense announced. The aid package includes various equipment such as air-defense systems, ammunition for HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, artillery rounds, electronic warfare tools, demolition munitions, and mine-clearing hardware.
The assistance will be provided through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which allows the Biden administration to procure weapons from the defense industry rather than taking them from existing US military stocks. During his visit to Kiev, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised Ukraine $1 billion in assistance, with $665.5 million allocated for military supplies.
“We want to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs not only to succeed on the counteroffensive but in the long term,” Blinken stated during a press conference in Kiev.
In addition to the $600 million aid package, the Pentagon also announced that Kiev would receive $175 million worth of American equipment, including depleted uranium shells for Abrams M-1 tanks. Politico reported that ten out of the 31 US-made main battle tanks are expected to arrive in Ukraine in the coming weeks.
The US’s decision to provide military aid to Ukraine has drawn criticism from Russian officials. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov described the move as “criminal” and accused the US of disregarding the environmental consequences of using depleted uranium shells. Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov referred to the aid as “very bad news” and claimed that it demonstrated the Biden administration’s intention to continue “waging a war to the last Ukrainian.”
The Russian Defense Ministry stated that Ukraine had lost 66,000 troops and 7,600 pieces of heavy weaponry during its three-month counteroffensive against Russia, with no significant gains achieved. While Ukraine has claimed the capture of several small villages, these are located far from the main Russian defense lines.
Russia has repeatedly warned that the provision of weapons to Ukraine by the US and its allies will only prolong the fighting without preventing Moscow from achieving its military objectives. Russian officials argue that the arms, intelligence-sharing, and training provided by Western nations have effectively made them parties to the conflict.
The delivery of military aid to Ukraine and its implications for the ongoing conflict has sparked concerns about the escalation of hostilities and the potential environmental and human consequences. The situation remains precarious as both sides continue to engage in military operations.