The new assistance is aimed at restocking ammunition for advanced weapons systems used in the counter-attack in Ukraine.
The United States will send Ukraine an additional $725 million arms package and other military aid, the White House said, adding Washington to a flurry of aid announcements from European allies this week amid renewed Russian missile attacks on Kyiv and other targets.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a statement Friday that the assistance follows “brutal Russian missile attacks on civilians across Ukraine,” and “growing evidence of atrocities committed by Russian forces.”
As “Ukrainian defenders repel Russian forces,” Blinken later tweeted, the United States stands united with Ukraine.
The Defense Department said in a separate statement that Washington’s latest military package includes more ammunition for HIMARS (High Mobility Missile Systems) and brings total US military assistance to Ukraine to $18.3 billion since the beginning of the Joe Biden administration.
The United States sent 20 HIMARS to Ukraine and promised to deliver another 18 in the coming years. HIMARS has proven to be an important weapon that has improved Ukraine’s ability to strike ammunition depots, bridges, and other key targets that undermine Russia’s ability to resupply forces.
I have made another withdrawal of weapons and equipment worth $725 million from Tweet embed Stockpiles to Ukraine, 23rd withdrawal since August 2021. As Ukraine’s defenders repel Russian forces, the United States stands #UnitedWithUkraine.
Secretary Anthony Blinken (@SecBlinken) October 15 2022
Officials said the new US package is largely aimed at restocking thousands of rounds of ammunition for weapons systems that Ukraine is successfully using in its counterattack against Russia, as the war extends into its eighth month.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement that Ukraine’s immediate needs remain for additional air defenses.
The Russians fired hundreds of missiles at major Ukrainian cities. The statement said that the Ukrainian forces had achieved some success in shooting down the missiles, but they need more air defense capabilities.
A senior defense official told reporters at the Pentagon that Russia had fired more than 80 missiles at Ukrainian targets in the last 24 hours and that Ukrainian air defenses had intercepted about half of them.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the US assessment of the war, said the intercepts use a lot of ammunition because the Ukrainians likely fired more than one shot at each incoming missile.
The announcement of US aid was at the top of a series of commitments made by allies this week.
The United Kingdom said last week that it would provide missiles for the national advanced surface-to-air missile system that the Pentagon plans to send to Ukraine. The UK is also sending hundreds of drones and 18 howitzers.
Germany sent the first of four promised IRIS-T air defense systems; France pledged more artillery, anti-aircraft and missile systems. The Netherlands has said it will send missiles, and Canada plans to send winter equipment, drone cameras and satellite communications.
The commitments come as Russia has stepped up its attacks, striking the Kyiv region with kamikaze drones and firing missiles elsewhere at civilian targets, including a hospital, a kindergarten and other buildings in the town of Nikopol, across the river from the Russian-occupied Zaporizhia nuclear region. Power plant.
The attacks were described as Russian retaliation for the bombing of the strategic Kerch bridge linking Russia to Crimea. The Kremlin’s war hawks have urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to escalate the bombing campaign further to punish Ukraine for the recent truck bomb attack on the bridge.
Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attack.
The increase in Russian missile strikes also represented an urgent effort by Moscow to regain its footing as Ukraine’s fierce counterattack reclaimed the towns and lands that swept through Russia in the early days of the war.