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US announces $820 million in aid to Ukraine, including missile systems

WASHINGTON — The US announced on Friday it will provide $820 million in new military aid to Ukraine, including new surface-to-air missile systems and counter-artillery radars, in response to Russia’s heavy reliance on long-range strikes in the war.

Russia has fired dozens of missiles over Ukraine in recent days, pinning down Ukrainian forces with continuous fire, sometimes for hours. Ukraine’s leaders have publicly called on Western allies to quickly send more ammunition and advanced systems that will help them fill the gap in equipment and manpower.

All told, the US has provided more than $8.8 billion in arms and military training to Ukraine, whose leaders have sought more help from Western allies to fend off larger and heavily equipped Russian forces. About $7 billion of that aid has been announced since the Russian invasion in February.

“We will support Ukraine for as long as it takes,” President Joe Biden said at a news conference during the NATO summit in Madrid this week. He argued that Russia had already suffered a blow to its international reputation and major damage to its economy from Western sanctions imposed over the invasion.

(Clockwise from C) Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US President Joe Biden, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and France's President Emmanuel Macron are seated at a round table as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy video-linked to leaders during their working session at Schloss Elmau in southern Germany, where the German Chancellor is holding a summit, June 27, 2022 the G7 speaks the Group of the Seven Rich Nations (G7).  - G7 leaders are under pressure to stick to climate pledges at their June 26-28 meeting in Bavaria as Russia's energy cuts trigger a return to fossil fuels to warm the planet.  (Photo by BENOIT TESSIER/POOL/AFP) (Photo by BENOIT TESSIER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
G7 leaders sit at a round table as Ukrainian President Zelenskyy addresses them via video link during their working session at Schloss Elmau in Germany, June 27, 2022.
Getty Images

The US is giving Ukrainians “the capacity” to “continue to resist Russian aggression,” Biden said. “And so I don’t know how it will end, but it will not end with a Russian defeat of Ukraine in Ukraine.”

Much of the aid officially announced on Friday will take weeks or months to reach Ukraine.

As part of the new package, the US will buy two systems known as NASAMS, a Norwegian-developed anti-aircraft system that will be used to protect the airspace around the White House and Capitol in Washington. A senior defense official told reporters NASAMS is designed to help Ukraine transition from using Soviet-era air defense systems, which not only are familiar to Russians but also require repairs with hard-to-find spare parts. Officials briefed reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss military assessments.

A local resident walks past an apartment building badly damaged during the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in the city of Sieverodonetsk, in the Lugansk region, Ukraine, July 1, 2022.
A local resident walks past a severely damaged apartment building in the town of Sievierodonetsk, in the Luhansk region, Ukraine, July 1, 2022.
REUTERS
A destroyed tank is seen during the conflict between Ukraine and Russia Sievierodonetsk in Luhansk region, Ukraine on July 1, 2022.
A destroyed tank is seen during the conflict between Ukraine and Russia Sievierodonetsk in Luhansk region, Ukraine on July 1, 2022.
REUTERS

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his gratitude.

“I am personally especially grateful today to the United States and Biden for the Ukraine support package announced today, which includes a very capable NASAMS – an anti-aircraft missile system that will significantly strengthen our air defenses. We’ve been working hard for these supplies,” Zelenskyy said late Friday in his late-night video address.

TOPSHOT - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears on a giant screen as he makes a statement at the start of the first plenary session of the NATO summit at the Ifema Congress Center in Madrid, June 29, 2022.  (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP) (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)
The US answered Zelenskyy’s prayers this week by pledging to send millions in military aid to Ukraine.
GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Pentagon will also provide the Ukrainians with up to 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition. Given the heavy use of artillery on both sides, it’s unclear how long these new rounds would last. The official declined to say how many shots Ukraine and Russia fire daily.

And the Pentagon will also buy four counter-artillery radars for Ukraine. These new acquisitions, funded by the Pentagon’s Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, require at least weeks for defense contractors to build. Ukrainians are also being trained in how to use the newly provided systems.

A woman reacts in front of her destroyed apartment building during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the town of Sievierodonetsk in the Luhansk region, Ukraine June 30, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
A woman collapses in front of her destroyed apartment building in Sievierodonetsk town, Luhansk region, Ukraine, June 30, 2022.
REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

The Pentagon will also provide additional munitions for medium-range missile systems it made available to Ukraine in June, known as High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS. The ammunition should come from the Ministry of Defense’s own stock under the so-called Drawdown Authority and be made available to Ukraine more quickly.

This is the 14th batch of military arms and equipment transferred to Ukraine from Defense Ministry stocks since August 2021.

A general view of a residential building damaged by a Russian missile attack as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in the village of Serhiivka, Odessa region, Ukraine July 1, 2022. REUTERS/Iryna Nazarchuk
Residential buildings collapse as a result of a Russian missile attack in the village of Serhiivka in the Odessa region of Ukraine July 1, 2022.
REUTERS

The war has spiraled into a grueling stalemate in which both sides rely heavily on artillery, Western officials and analysts have said. Though Russia failed to achieve its original goals of overthrowing the Ukrainian government, it is believed to be making slow progress in consolidating control of the eastern Ukrainian region known as Donbass.

A local resident rides a bicycle past a residential building badly damaged during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the town of Sievierodonetsk in the Luhansk region, Ukraine, June 30, 2022.  REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
A local resident rides a bicycle past a destroyed apartment building in Sievierodonetsk town, Luhansk region, Ukraine, 30 June 2022.
REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

https://nypost.com/2022/07/02/us-announces-820m-in-ukraine-aid-including-missile-systems/ US announces $820 million in aid to Ukraine, including missile systems

JACLYN DIAZ

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