The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has authorized a presidential drawdown of security assistance worth up to $675 million to meet Ukraine’s critical security and defense needs.
“In total, the United States has committed approximately $15.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since January 2021, DoD stated in a release. “Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $17.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine and more than $14.5 billion since the beginning of Russia’s unprovoked and brutal invasion on February 24.”
The funds are the Biden administration’s twentieth authorization to withdraw equipment from DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021, according to the DoD.
According to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the war has reached a new turning point, with Ukrainian forces launching a counteroffensive in the country’s south.
“The face of the war is changing, and so is the mission of this contact group,” Austin said at a meeting with the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, which included NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Ukraine’s defense minister, and officials from allied countries.
The DoD said the capabilities in the package include:
- More HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) ammunition
- Four 105mm howitzers and 36,000 105mm artillery rounds
- Additional High-speed Anti-radiation Missiles (HARM)
- 100 High Mobility Armored Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV)
- 5 million rounds of small arms ammunition
- More than 5,000 anti-armor systems
- 1,000 Remote Anti-Armor Mine (RAAM) rounds (155mm)
- Additional grenade launchers and small arms
- 50 armored medical response vehicles
- Night vision and other field tools
Furthermore, the State Department informed Congress of the intention to invest $2 billion in long-term foreign military financing: $1 billion to strengthen Ukraine’s security and $1 billion to 17 of Ukraine’s regional neighbors.
The U.S. will continue to work with its allies and partners to provide critical capabilities to meet Ukraine’s changing battlefield needs, informed the DoD.
“We must evolve as the fight evolves,” Austin added.
Ukraine confirmed a counterattack in the country’s northeast, in the Kharkiv region. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address on September 7, “This week we have good news from Kharkiv region.”
The latest round of taxpayer-funded Ukrainian military assistance came just days after U.S. intelligence reported Russia had purchased ammunition from North Korea for use on the Ukrainian battlefield, reported The Dallas Express.
“Had a great conversation with @POTUS,” Zelenskyy tweeted at the end of August. “Thanked for the unwavering U.S. support for Ukrainian people – security and financial. We discussed Ukraine’s further steps on our path to the victory over the aggressor and the importance of holding Russia accountable for war crimes.”