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U.S. Provides $800 Million Military Assistance to Ukraine

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden made an announcement that the United States would be sending an additional $800 million to Ukraine for military weapons. They are expecting a larger assault coming from Russia and would be armed with heavier artillery. The military aid would include artillery systems, artillery rounds, armored personnel carriers and unmanned coastal defense boats. President Biden said, “We cannot rest now. As I assured President Zelenskyy, the American people will continue to stand with the brave Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom.”

In this military package, there will be 11 Mi-17 helicopters that were once used for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, 18 155mm howitzers, along with 40,000 artillery rounds, counter-artillery radars, 200 armored personnel carriers and 300 additional “Switchblade” drones. This will be the first time that Ukraine gets to use the howitzers from the United States. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, “We’re aware of the clock and we know time is not our friend.” The aid will come from the Presidential Drawdown Authority. John Spencer, a retired U.S. Army major, said, “You need these bigger, more powerful weapons … to match what Russia is bringing to try to take eastern Ukraine.”

U.S. weapon makers met with Pentagon officials in discussion of the Ukrainian conflict. With the urgency of the conflict, they discussed how to transport the weapons and how much the U.S. should be involved in the war. President Biden intends to send helicopters, but he is unsure if he would send helicopters from the United States or partner with another country to send in the helicopters. Because Ukraine was able to put up strong resistances against Russian troops, Russia is struggling to achieve their military goals and conquer the lands; although, Russia claimed to have taken control of Mariupol and more than 1,000 Ukrainian marines surrendered.

Last week, Slovakia decided to support Ukraine by sending their Soviet-era S-300 air defense system. The U.S. had also sent Ukraine Russian-designed T-72 tanks.

Once President Biden approves the weapons to defend Ukraine, Kirby said that the weapons would be sent as soon as possible.

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