U.S. to send $250 million in weapons to Ukraine
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration announced Tuesday it will send an additional $250 million in weapons and ammunition to Ukraine as part of its ongoing support of Kyiv’s counteroffensive.
The weapons will be drawn from existing U.S. stockpiles and will include mine-clearing equipment, artillery and rocket rounds, ambulances and medical gear, among other items and spare parts, according to the State Department.
“The package will help Ukrainian forces on the battlefield and support its air defenses as Russia continues to launch brutal, brutal strikes against the people of Ukraine, including attacks this past week,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.
The State Department said the package contained AIM-9M missiles for air defense, High Mobility Artillery Rocket System munitions, 155mm and 105mm artillery ammunition and more than 3 million rounds of small arms ammunition.
The U.S. would have already run out of funding for the year to provide additional stockpile equipment to Ukraine but earlier this year realized the Pentagon had overvalued the equipment it had already sent, which freed up an additional $6.2 billion in funding.
Ukraine has already received more than $43 billion from the U.S. since Russia invaded last year. Those funds have provided weapons systems like howitzers and millions of rounds of ammunition to fight back against the much larger Russian military. Due to the intense and bloody land war, now in its 18th month, much of the ammunition and weaponry has already been used up.
Russia has accused Ukraine of targeting six of its regions in what appeared to be the biggest drone attack on Russian soil since the start of the fighting. (Aug. 30)
Colleen Long in Washington and diplomatic writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report.