The United States Department of Defense reported on Thursday a new military assistance package for Ukraine so that the European country can defend itself on the battlefield, the second similar announcement in the last 24 hours.
The $600 million package, provided through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), includes equipment for increase air defenses as well as artillery ammunition or mine clearance equipmentamong others.
“The United States will continue to work with its allies and partners to provide Ukraine with capabilities to meet its immediate battlefield needs and its longer-term security assistance needs,” the Department of Defense said in a statement.
This announcement comes just one day after the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, made a surprise visit to Kiev to reaffirm the country’s support and announced an aid package that exceeds 1,000 million dollars destined not only for defense but also to humanitarian support.
A total of 175 million corresponded to military aid and for the first time ammunition with depleted uranium for tanks was included.
that ammunition of 120-millimeter caliber is intended for Abrams tanksthe Pentagon detailed in a statement on Wednesday.
The use of depleted uranium shells, which have greater armor-piercing capabilities, has long been a controversial issue due to their potential health and environmental impacts.
However, in a press conference held on Thursday, the Pentagon’s deputy spokeswoman, Sabrina Singh, pointed out that, despite Russian criticism, there is no evidence that the depleted uranium ammunition that it has decided to deliver to Ukraine causes cancer.
Although today the Department of Defense did not count the aid offered to Ukraine, the Pentagon said in its statement yesterday that the package announced on Wednesday is the number 46 which, since August 2021, the Joe Biden Administration has supplied.
Since the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022, the Joe Biden Administration has allocated more than 43,000 million dollars in security aid for Ukraine and maintains that its support will last as long as necessary.
This latest package announced today is released a few hours before the start of the G20 summit to be held in India this weekend and in which Ukraine will be one of the topics that the main world leaders will discuss.
Blinken Praises Ukraine for “Extraordinary Resilience” Against Russia
The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkenpraised Ukraine’s strength in the face of Russian invasion on Thursday, during a visit to the Chernigov region, occupied by Moscow at the start of the war.
Blinken visited the basement of a school in Yahidne, where Russian troops held dozens of inhabitants, including the elderly and children, captive. “This is just a building (…) [pero] this is a story we have seen time and time again,” Blinken stated.
“But we are also seeing something incredibly powerful (…) the extraordinary resilience of the Ukrainian people”, he added.
Russian forces seized parts of the Chernigov region, including Yahidne, early in the war.
They withdrew after a month, and Yahidne was retaken by Ukrainian forces on March 30, 2022.
The Russian army destroyed and heavily mined cities and fields.
Blinken assured that up to a third of the Ukrainian territory is affected by mines or unexploded ordnance.
“But the Ukrainians are coming together to get rid of the ammunition, to get rid of the mines, and to literally reclaim the land,” Blinken said.
Making his fourth visit to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022, the secretary of state on Wednesday announced new $1 billion in aid earmarked especially to support Ukraine’s complicated counter-offensive.
(With information from EFE and AFP)