WASHINGTON – The Joe Biden administration has announced Friday a new tranche of military aid to Ukraine worth US$775 million in the latest bid to bolster Kyiv’s forces as they seek to push back Russia’s ongoing offensive.
The aid package includes an unspecified amount of ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 16 105mm Howitzers and 36,000 associated rounds, 15 Scan Eagle drones, 40 mine-resistant armored vehicles fitted with mine rollers and additional high-speed anti-radiation missiles, the Pentagon said in a statement.
Anti-radiation missiles are typically employed to target radar systems and communications equipment.
Other armaments and equipment include 1,500 Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles, 1,000 Javelin anti-armor systems, tactical secure communication equipment, night vision goggles, and laser rangefinders.
The weapons are being transferred under what is known as drawdown authority, which allows the president to send excess weapons in US stocks to another country.
The package came as Russia faces an increasing number of suspected attacks behind the frontlines that have not been definitively attributed, including one Thursday in the Russian city of Belgorod that reportedly struck an ammunition storage facility.
Bystander video posted on social media showed a large plume of smoke and fire rocketing into the sky as droves of munitions exploded.
The incident was the latest after Russian military sites in occupied Crimea were targeted with open-source satellite imagery appearing to depict widespread losses, including vital combat aircraft.
The source of the suspected attacks remains unknown and Ukraine has shirked away from claiming responsibility with speculations mounting that it could be the work of saboteurs.
The latest batch of US military assistance brings the total of American assistance to Ukraine since January 2021 to US$12.6 billion, most of which came after Russia began its war in February. (Anadolu)