Pentagon announces $400 million in Ukraine arms transfers

Pentagon announces 0 million in Ukraine arms transfers

The Pentagon on Friday announced a $400 million tranche of weapons for Ukraine, its second package since Congress passed a foreign aid bill last month with additional Defense Department funding to support Kyiv.

The new package includes additional munitions for Patriot air defense systems and National Advanced Surface Air-to-Air Missile Systems, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Javelin anti-tank missiles, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems as well as 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds.

“Today, the United States is announcing a $400 million package of weapons and equipment to support the brave people of Ukraine,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “The United States will continue to stand with Ukraine in the fight against Russia’s aggression.”

The package also includes precision aerial munitions, Bradley armored vehicles and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles.

The Pentagon announced a $1 billion arms package for Kyiv last month shortly after Congress passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan following months of delays. That package also included air defense interceptors, armored vehicles, anti-tank weapons and artillery rounds.

Congress’ delay in passing the foreign aid bill, which included $48 billion in Ukraine-related funding for the Defense Department, resulted in severe ammunition and artillery shortages for Kyiv as sought to hold the line against Russia’s invasion.

Russian forces launched a ground attack on Kharkiv on Friday, prompting Ukraine to call up reserve units to fend off the assault. Ukrainian forces also had to retreat from Avdiivka earlier this year after a Russian offensive.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked President Joe Biden and Congress for the new military aid package on X.

“This timely and vital U.S. assistance will help save civilian lives and strengthen Ukrainian warriors on the frontlines,” Zelenskyy wrote. “It will also allow us to better protect our cities and communities from Russia’s ongoing air terror attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure and energy facilities.”

Bryant Harris is the Congress reporter for Defense News. He has covered U.S. foreign policy, national security, international affairs and politics in Washington since 2014. He has also written for Foreign Policy, Al-Monitor, Al Jazeera English and IPS News.

Read the full article here