Image Source: CNN
According to a US official, the Biden administration plans to offer Ukraine another $1 billion in military aid to combat Russia on Wednesday. On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced that Ukraine would get an additional $1 billion in military help to combat Russia, including new howitzers, ammunition, and coastal defense systems.
On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ahead of the announcement, which included 18 howitzers, 36,000 rounds of howitzer ammunition, and two Harpoon coastal defense systems, according to the Pentagon.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the US and Ukraine are working in locksteps to address their (Ukraine) requirements for new capabilities, most especially, its need for long-range artillery, armor, and coastal defense,” in a statement released in Brussels.
As Ukraine’s military burns up Soviet-era ammunition, Ukrainian leaders have pleaded with the West to send more heavy equipment as the fight with Russia continues. According to Western intelligence and military officials, Russian artillery has amassed a large artillery advantage around two important cities in eastern Ukraine.
Weapons and supplies that can be immediately supplied from current US stockpiles and new contracts for long-term supplies for Ukraine are expected to be included in the package. Austin will meet with a working group of over 50 countries in Brussels on Wednesday to talk about the problem.
Timeline of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the US has supplied a series of weapons supplies to Ukraine, boosting the capabilities provided to the Ukrainian military as the battle has progressed. On the other hand, officials in Ukraine have been lobbying for more heavy weapons and have expressed dissatisfaction with how munitions are being sent piecemeal to the fight.
Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Tuesday that the country has only gotten 10% of the military aid it requested from the West.
“No matter how hard we try, no matter how well-trained our army is, Ukraine will not be able to win this war without the help of our Western allies,” Mailar warned.
How the Biden Administration has helped Ukraine since its invasion
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, according to a Pentagon official, the US has provided more than $5 billion in security support to Ukraine. Ammunition for HIMARS and tactical vehicles “to recover equipment,” as well as thousands of secure radios, night vision devices, thermal sights, and “other optics,” according to the Pentagon.
Weapons and supplies that can be immediately sent from current US stockpiles, as well as new contracts for long-term supply, are expected to be included in the package.
The Biden administration will also give Ukraine $225 million in humanitarian aid, which will go toward “supplying safe drinking water, necessary medical supplies and health care, food, housing, and cash for families to purchase essential commodities,” according to Biden.
On Wednesday, Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley met with a working group of roughly 50 countries in Brussels to discuss the problem.
Opinions expressed by California Gazette contributors are their own.