Defense Department announces another $400M aid package to Ukraine

War in Ukraine
Ukrainian servicemen sit atop armored personnel carriers driving on a road in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences you have never seen.” (VADIM GHIRDA/AP)

Defense Department announces another $400M aid package to Ukraine

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The Department of Defense is sending security assistance worth up to $400 million to Ukraine in its war against Russia.

This authorization follows the department’s latest $400 million security aid package that was announced on Nov. 4, making it the 25th drawdown of equipment from the department’s inventories since August 2021, per a news release.

Weapons in the new package include missiles for HAWK air-defense systems, four Avenger air-defense systems and Stinger missiles, and additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems. Other provisions include 400 grenade launchers, demolition equipment to clear obstacles, and cold-weather protective gear.

“With Russia’s unrelenting and brutal air attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure, additional air defense capabilities are critical,” the department wrote.

The United States has committed more than $18.6 billion since Russia invaded Ukraine in February and over $19.3 billion in security assistance since the beginning of the administration.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked President Joe Biden and the American people in a statement on Twitter on Thursday for the continuous aid.

“Thank you @POTUS & friendly [American] people for showing solidarity once again — an aid package including Avenger air defense systems & missiles for Hawk air defense systems,” Zelensky said. “Together we’re building an air shield to protect [Ukrainian] civilians. We’re bringing victory over the aggressor closer!”

On Nov. 4, the same day the U.S. announced an aid package, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged civilians in the occupied region of Kherson to leave as Russian forces consider withdrawing from the area.

Russia announced on Thursday that it would be pulling its military out of Kherson, which has been under Russian control since shortly after the invasion began in late February and is considered a strategically important location due to its proximity to Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

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Zelensky is skeptical, stating that “the enemy does not hand out gifts,” per CBS News. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak told the Associated Press that Ukraine does not see “any signs that Russia is completely leaving the city, which means that these statements may be disinformation.”

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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