Friday, June 14, 2024

US announces $275Mn arms package for Ukraine

The United States is providing a new weapons package for Ukraine worth $275 million to include additional high-mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) ammunition and 155mm artillery rounds, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stated.

“The United States is announcing today a significant new drawdown of weapons and equipment for Ukraine,” Blinken said in a statement.

“This $275 million package, which is part of our efforts to help Ukraine repel Russia’s assault near Kharkov, contains urgently needed capabilities including: ammunition for HIMARS; 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds.”

The new package also includes tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided missiles; Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems; precision aerial munitions; small arms and additional rounds of ammunition and grenades; demolitions munitions; anti-armor mines; tactical vehicles; body armor; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protective equipment; and other equipment.

Blinken confirmed that US assistance from previous packages has already been delivered to the front lines in Ukraine.

The weapons package comes as Kiev is being pressured on multiple fronts, with Russian troops advancing in both Ukraine’s Kharkov Region and Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic. In early May, Moscow’s forces launched a push into northeastern Ukraine towards the city of Kharkov, capturing more than a dozen settlements along the way.

The goal of the operation is to create a buffer zone between Kiev-controlled territory and Russia’s Belgorod Region, in an effort to curb Ukrainian attacks on the local civilian population, President Vladimir Putin has said.

Over the past week, Moscow liberated Andreevka and Klescheevka in the Donetsk People’s Republic, closing in on the Ukrainian-held city of Chasov Yar, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.

The latest aid package comes amid a push among Kiev’s war sponsors to lift restrictions on using Western-supplied armaments to strike “internationally recognized” Russian territories.

However, according to Moscow, this rhetoric is designed to maintain the illusion that the West is not part of the conflict, while in fact Kiev is using Western arms against “civilian infrastructure and residential districts” well outside the conflict zone on a daily basis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed.

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