US Pledges $2B in Ukraine Security Aid on Invasion Anniversary
The United States announced $2 billion in additional security assistance for Kyiv on Friday, the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The aid includes ammunition for the Himars precision rocket system, 155 mm artillery rounds, drone and counter-drone systems, mine clearing equipment, and funding for training and maintenance, the Pentagon said.
Items in the package — which does not feature some capabilities that Ukraine is seeking, such as Western warplanes and longer-range missiles — will be purchased from the defense industry instead of drawn from US stocks, meaning they will take longer to get to Kyiv’s forces.
The United States has spearheaded the push for international support for Ukraine, quickly forging an international coalition to back Kyiv after Russia invaded in February 2022 and coordinating aid from dozens of countries.
Washington has committed more than $32 billion in security assistance over the past year, while other countries have promised more than $20 billion, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement marking the one-year anniversary of the invasion.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin “thought that Ukraine’s defenses would collapse, that America’s resolve would falter, and that the world would look the other way. He was wrong,” Austin said.
“One year later, Ukraine’s brave defenders have not wavered, and neither has our commitment to support them for as long as it takes.”
Aid for Ukraine has covered almost all types of military equipment, from uniforms, small arms, and ammunition to artillery rocket systems, air defenses, and armored vehicles.
Kyiv has pushed for some items that its international supporters have been reluctant to provide, including Patriot air defense systems and advanced heavy tanks — which were eventually promised — and others such as Western fighter aircraft, which have not been so far.
Ukraine’s supporters are training the country’s troops on new weapons that are being provided, and US forces started a program focused on larger-scale maneuvers last month that will aid Kyiv in expected upcoming offensive operations.
Britain’s King Charles met with Ukrainian troops undergoing military training in southern England. The UK, along with other Western allies, has been training Ukrainian soldiers and providing weapons and ammunition to support Kyiv. More coverage: https://t.co/wPFqY7IZFj pic.twitter.com/EecxDC2ROs
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 20, 2023
The United States and other countries have also imposed tough sanctions on Russia, with targets including financial institutions, technology imports, and energy exports.