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Biden administration earmarks additional $1 billion military aid to Ukraine 

Joe Biden

Image Source: CNN

According to a US official, the Biden administration plans to offer an additional $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine to combat Russia on Wednesday. Additional howitzers, ammunition, and coastal defense systems are expected to be included in the package. The Biden administration pledged an additional $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine to combat Russia, including deployments of additional howitzers, ammunition, and coastal defense systems. 

On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky by phone ahead of the announcement, which included the delivery of 18 howitzers, 36,000 rounds of howitzer ammunition, and two Harpoon coastal defense systems, according to the Pentagon.

In a statement issued in Brussels, Lloyd Austin, US Defense Secretary, said the US and Ukraine are working in lockstep to address Ukraine’s requirements for new capabilities, particularly its need for long-range artillery, armor, and coastal defense. 

As Ukraine’s military burns up its Soviet-era ammo, Ukrainian leaders have pleaded with the West to send more heavy equipment as the fight with Russia continues. Western intelligence and military experts believe the battle has reached a tipping point that will determine the conflict’s long-term outcome, while Russia has built up a major artillery advantage around two important cities in eastern Ukraine. 

Weapons and equipment that can be immediately sent from existing US stockpiles are expected to be included in the package and the issuance of new contracts for long-term supplies for Ukraine. Austin is meeting with a working group of over 50 countries in Brussels on Wednesday to tackle the problem. 

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the US has deployed a series of weapons supplies to Ukraine, boosting the capabilities it has offered to Ukraine’s military as the situation has progressed. On the other hand, Ukrainian officials have been lobbying for more heavy weapons and have expressed dissatisfaction with how munitions are being sent piecemeal to the fight. 

Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said Tuesday that the country has only gotten 10% of the military help requested by Kyiv from the West. 

“No matter how hard we try, no matter how skilled our army is, Ukraine will not be able to win this war without the help of our Western allies,” Mailar warned.

Timeline of the war in Ukraine and series of aids provided by the Biden administration 

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the US has committed more than $5 billion in security assistance, according to a Pentagon spokeswoman. The current batch of weapons includes ammunition for HIMARS and tactical vehicles “to recover equipment,” as well as hundreds of secure radios, night vision devices, infrared sights, and “other optics,” according to the Pentagon. 

Weapons and supplies that can be immediately deployed from current US stockpiles are expected to be included in the package, as well as new contracts for long-term supply. 

Read Also: Senate approves 40 billion US aid to Ukraine

The United States will also contribute $225 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, which would go toward “clean drinking water, necessary medical supplies and health care, food, shelter, and cash for families to purchase essential commodities,” according to Biden. 

On Wednesday, Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, were in Brussels for a meeting with a working group of roughly 50 countries to examine the problem.

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