The Department of Defense announced Friday a new $775 million military assistance package for Ukraine on Friday as Russia’s unprovoked invasion of the country nears the six-month mark.
Why it matters: The package includes four additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) 16 howitzer heavy field artillery pieces and 36,000 rounds of ammunition, 15 surveillance drones and 40 mine-resistant troop transport vehicles.
- Ukraine will also receive 50 Humvee-type vehicles, 1,000 Javelins, 2,000 anti-armor rounds, mine clearing equipment and new communications systems, according to the Defense Department.
By the numbers: It comes after the U.S. announced a $550 million military aid package for Ukraine earlier this month.
- With the new package, the Biden administration will have committed a total of $10.6 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.
- It is the Department of Defense’s 19th drawdown military aid package to Ukraine since August 2021.
What they’re saying: “As President Biden has made clear, we will support Ukraine as they defend their democracy for as long as it takes,” the Defense Department said in a statement.
- “The United States will continue to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with key capabilities to meet Ukraine’s evolving battlefield requirements,” it added.
The big picture: While Russia has made incremental territorial gains in Ukraine’s Donbas region over the past months, it currently appears to be on the defensive in Kharkiv and Kherson 0blasts.
- HIMARS have allowed Ukraine to strike Russian military stockpiles, command posts and other targets far behind the front lines.
- Russia has suffered material losses in Crimea after multiple military installations were recently hit with explosions, including Saki Air Base in southwest Crimea.
- The explosions, which Ukraine has not officially claimed or denied responsibility for, carry major symbolic and strategic ramifications for Russia’s hold on the peninsula, Axios’ Dave Lawler reports.
- Russia also faces increased pressure from dozens of countries, the United Nations and other international organizations to remove its troops and military equipment from Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
Go deeper: The latest on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
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