US announces additional $400M in security aid for Ukraine

US announces additional $400M in security aid for Ukraine

The United States is providing nearly $400 million more in security aid to Ukraine as the fight against Russia’s aggression enters its ninth month.

The Defense Department said on Friday that the latest package “underlines the continued US commitment to supporting Ukraine to meet its most urgent needs, as well as the ability of Ukraine’s armed forces to defend its sovereignty over the long term.” also builds it.”

The statement said the US has committed more than $18.2 billion to Ukraine since the start of “Russia’s unprovoked and brutal invasion on February 24”.

US military aid includes upgraded HAWK air defense missiles; funding for 45 refurbished T-72B tanks with improved optics, communications and armor packages; 1,100 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial System; 40 Armored Riverine Command Boat; funds for the renewal of 250 M1117 armored protection vehicles; tactical secure communication systems and surveillance systems; and funds for training, upkeep and maintenance.

FILE - White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan speaks during the daily briefing at the White House on October 26, 2021 in Washington.

FILE – White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan speaks during the daily briefing at the White House on October 26, 2021 in Washington.

Earlier on Friday, Jake Sullivan, the White House’s national security adviser, said during a visit to Kyiv that US support for Ukraine would remain “unshakable and unwavering” after next Tuesday’s midterm congressional elections.

“We absolutely intend to make sure that the resources are necessary, and to do so we will get votes from both sides of the aisle,” Sullivan told reporters during a briefing.

Some Republicans have indicated that they will try to reduce US aid to Kyiv if they gain control of the US Congress in the November 8 elections. Last month, Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the US House, said that Americans “should not write black checks” for Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands said it would spend about $45 million on T-72 tanks as it cooperates with the US and the Czech Republic on the shipment of 90 modern Czech tanks. Ukraine also received the first batch of BMP-1 armored vehicles from Greece. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Greek President Katerina Sakleropoulou for the assistance.

Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dimitro Kuleba in a tweet thanked the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and the United States for their joint decision to provide 90 T-72 tanks to Ukraine.

Earlier, in an interview with VOA White House bureau chief Patsy Vidakuswara, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the US is “working closely with the Ukrainians.” He said Washington and Kyiv talk almost daily about Ukraine’s military capabilities, what is needed and what Washington can provide for them.

Kirby said the US is looking at providing more advanced capabilities to help Ukraine shoot down drones and cruise missiles that are firing at Russian civilian infrastructure.

“We are also working with allies and partners in some 40 other countries” [who] Providing security assistance to Ukraine. France, Spain, Germany have been the real big contributors with respect to providing some additional air defense capability,” Kirby said.

Kirby also told the VOA that it was encouraging to hear that the Russians do not want a nuclear exchange.

“We hope they really mean it, because we agree that a nuclear war should never be fought. It certainly cannot be won,” he said. But, he added, Washington is “judging them.” What they are saying, but what are they doing on the ground.

He was referring to Putin’s raising of more than 300,000 stockpiles and Moscow’s “sham referendum” in Ukraine, which could not be captured politically, as well as seeking Russia’s help from countries such as Iran and North Korea. was.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin signaled it was withdrawing from Kherson, a strategic area for Russia’s westward expansion. The Russian flag has been removed from the city council building in Kherson.

Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly supported the evacuation of civilians from parts of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region on Friday, the latest sign of Russia’s retreat in one of Ukraine’s most bitterly disputed regions.

In recent weeks, Russian-established authorities in Kherson have evacuated thousands of civilians from the city and surrounding areas, while pro-Kremlin media members have reported that withdrawing Russian troops took away bronze statues of 18th-century Russian commanders. and shifted their headquarters. 50 miles to the southeast.

FILE - Russian recruits stand to take a train at a railway station in Prudboi, Volgograd region, Russia September 29, 2022.

FILE – Russian recruits stand to take a train at a railway station in Prudboi, Volgograd region, Russia September 29, 2022.

According to daily updates from the British Defense Ministry on Russia’s war on Ukraine, Russia may also be prepared to shoot down its troops in Ukraine.

“Due to low morale and reluctance to fight, the Russian military may have begun deploying ‘barrier troops’ or ‘intercept units’,” Friday’s intelligence update said. “These units threatened to shoot their own retreating troops to force the attack.”

The strategy to shoot down the desert, the ministry said, “likely testifies to the low quality, low morale and indiscipline of the Russian military.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met several of his international counterparts in Germany on Friday – French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, German Foreign Minister Annalena Barbock and British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. They discussed “continued transatlantic cooperation on a number of key issues, including Russia’s continued support for Ukraine in the face of a brutal war” and “Russia’s military support of Iran and the violent action and repression of the Iranian people”. US State Department.

Speaking to reporters in Muenster, Germany, Blinken said Russia has destroyed about 40% of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, including thermal power plants that provide heat to many Ukrainian homes, schools and hospitals. The temperature can drop below 20 degrees Celsius.

“It seems that President Putin has decided that if he cannot seize Ukraine by force, he will try to freeze it,” Blinken said.

Zelensky called on local authorities to “ensure that there is no unnecessary use of electricity in all cities and communities in Ukraine.”

He urged energy companies to “be more proactive in explaining to people when and why you disconnect this or that street, this or that district. Now is the time for such subtle communication. People have a right to know.” “

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