Ukrainian servicemen taking part in the armed conflict with Russia-backed separatists in Donetsk region of the country attend the handover ceremony of military heavy weapons and equipment in Kiev on November 15, 2018.
Sergei Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced another $1 billion in weapons for Ukraine on Wednesday, including anti-ship systems, artillery rockets and rounds for howitzers.
“This morning, I spoke with President Zelenskyy to discuss Russia’s brutal and ongoing war against Ukraine. I reaffirmed my commitment that the United States will stand by Ukraine as it defends its democracy and support its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of unprovoked Russian aggression,” Biden wrote in a statement.
Biden also announced an additional $225 million in humanitarian assistance for Ukraine to address needs like safe drinking water, critical medical supplies, food and cash for families to purchase essential items.
The White House said Biden spoke to Zelenskyy for about 40 minutes regarding the capabilities included in the latest package, which is the 12th U.S. military assistance installment for Ukraine since the start of the war. Since Moscow invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the Biden administration has deployed more than 100,000 U.S. troops to NATO-member countries and authorized more than $5.6 billion in security assistance.
The Pentagon said that the latest tranche of weapons for Ukraine is valued at $350 million and includes 18 155mm howitzers, 36,000 rounds of 155mm ammunition,18 tactical vehicles to tow 155mm howitzers, ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HMARS, as well as four tactical vehicles to recover equipment and spare parts.
The Pentagon will also provide two Harpoon coastal defense systems, thousands of secure radios, night vision and thermal devices as well as funding for training and maintenance support. That aid is collectively valued at $650 million.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin shakes hands with Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov ahead of a NATO defence ministers’ meeting at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium June 15, 2022.
Yves Herman | Reuters
The latest security package comes as Russian forces ramp up their attacks in Ukraine’s Donbas region and as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin meets with allies at NATO to galvanize additional support.
“We’re working in lockstep to meet Ukraine’s requests for new capabilities, especially its need for long-range fires, armor and coastal defense,” Austin told defense ministers at NATO.
“We’re providing Ukraine’s defenders with HIMARS and multiple launch rocket systems and that will significantly boost Ukraine’s capabilities,” he added, alongside Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov.