Artillery vehicle

US authorizes additional $1 billion in security aid to Ukraine, including artillery rockets

The U.S. government has provided an additional $1 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, the largest amount since the war began nearly six months ago, including ammunition for rocket systems. high mobility artillery (Himars).

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the announcement, reaffirming Washington’s continued support for Kyiv in its defense against Russia.

“Today I authorize our largest withdrawal of American weapons and equipment,” Blinken said.

“This 18th levy since August 2021 of up to $1 billion includes weapons, ammunition and equipment from U.S. Department of Defense stockpiles for self-defense of Ukraine.”

The US Department of Defense said the package includes more ammunition for Himars, 75,000 rounds of 155 millimeter artillery and 20 120 mm mortar systems and 20,000 rounds of ammunition for them.

It also includes ammunition for the nation’s advanced surface-to-air missile systems, 1,000 Javelin missiles and hundreds of AT4 anti-armour systems, as well as 50 armored medical treatment vehicles.

Claymore anti-personnel munitions, C-4 explosives, demolition munitions and equipment, and medical supplies are also in the package.

Himars are a mobile unit capable of launching multiple precision-guided missiles simultaneously.

Russia also operates multiple rocket launchers, but the Himars have superior range and accuracy, with rockets capable of flying up to 80 kilometers.

“At every stage of this conflict, we have been focused on providing the Ukrainians with what they need, based on changing battlefield conditions,” said Colin Kahl, Undersecretary of Defense. for politics, from the Pentagon.

Kahl estimated that Russian forces suffered up to 80,000 dead and wounded during the war and lost between 3,000 and 4,000 armored vehicles.

He acknowledged the “incremental” gains Russian troops have made in eastern Ukraine, but said progress had slowed in recent weeks.

These gains come at “an extraordinary cost to the Russian military because of the performance of the Ukrainian military and all the help the Ukrainian military has received,” Kahl said.

“And I think now the conditions in the east have basically stabilized and the focus is really shifting south.”

He said dispatching fighter jets such as the F-16s was not being considered, but that it is “not inconceivable that Western aircraft on the road could be part of the mix”.

Also on Monday, the United States announced it would provide an additional $4.5 billion to the Ukrainian government in budget support, bringing its total to $8.5 billion.

The US Agency for International Development coordinates funding with the US Treasury Department through the World Bank.

It will go to the Ukrainian government in installments, starting with a disbursement of $3 billion in August, the agency said.

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Updated: August 08, 2022, 10:44 p.m.