The Biden administration authorizes $725 million in additional security assistance for Ukraine


Washington
CNN

The Biden administration authorized an additional $725 million in security aid for Ukraine on Friday as the country recovers from Russia’s recent missile attacks against civilian targets.

The president’s draw includes “ammunition, weapons and equipment in the US Department of Defense inventory,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday.

The additional aid brings total U.S. military aid to Ukraine to more than $18 trillion through January 2021, Blinken said.

According to a Department of Defense press release, it includes High Speed ​​Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARMs), anti-tank weapons, small arms, and ammunition and small arms for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS). The aid package includes medical supplies, more than 200 high-mobility vehicles and thousands of artillery rounds and remote anti-armor (RAAM) systems.

“We will stand by the people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and independence with extraordinary courage and boundless determination,” Blinken said. “The capabilities we are providing are carefully calibrated to make the biggest difference on the Ukrainian battlefield.”

The announcement of additional aid comes after a brutal week of deadly Russian strikes against civilian targets in Ukraine, including the Kyiv region. The strike has damaged Ukraine’s electricity system, forcing people to reduce consumption to avoid blackouts.

The strikes have been seen as retaliation for the latest blast at the Crimean bridge that has reduced road and rail traffic, striking a blow against Russia’s military efforts in Ukraine.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Thursday after a NATO defense ministerial meeting that other countries have pledged to help Ukraine as well. Spain will provide additional “Hawk” air defense systems to Ukraine, Austin said, and, according to a Defense Department statement, Germany recently delivered the first of its IRIS-T air defense systems to Ukraine.

CNN previously reported that Western sanctions have significantly reduced Russia’s ability to upgrade the munitions it uses in Ukraine, according to a new study by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, forcing Moscow to find ways to circumvent restrictions on its intelligence services. acquiring critical technology and parts to sustain its war effort.