US Announces Additional $275 Million Military Aid To Ukraine Amid Russia War, Zelenskyy Expresses Gratitude

(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) The Biden administration on Friday announced an additional $275 million in military aid for Ukraine as Kyiv faces challenges in countering Russian advances in the Kharkiv region. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the package, which was previewed on Thursday by two US officials, "is part of our efforts to help Ukraine repel Russia's assault near Kharkiv."

“Assistance from previous packages has already made it to the front lines, and we will move this new assistance as quickly as possible so the Ukrainian military can use it to defend their territory and protect the Ukrainian people,” Blinken said in a statement.

“The United States and the international coalition we have assembled will continue to stand with Ukraine in its defense of its freedom,” he said.

The package includes High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) munitions, along with highly sought-after 155 mm and 105 mm artillery rounds. It also features Javelin and AT-4 antitank systems, antitank mines, tactical vehicles, small arms, and ammunition for these weapons.

With this latest package, the US has provided nearly $51 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since Russia's invasion in February 2022.

Following the announcement by the US State Department, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to express his gratitude to the Biden administration.

“I am grateful to @POTUS Joe Biden, U.S. Congress and its both parties, as well as the American people for the new military aid package announced today,” he wrote on X.

“It includes much-needed long-range missiles, precision artillery munitions, anti-tank capabilities, and other weapons," he added.

“This package is critical right now, as the enemy intensifies attacks along the frontline. Today in Kharkiv, I witnessed firsthand the importance of strengthening our warriors in order to protect our people, our cities, and our communities,” Zelenskyy further said.

"Freedom is the value both of our nations hold dear. To protect it, we require continued strong support from the United States and other allies," the Ukrainian president concluded.

Zelenskyy also confirmed that the nation's forces have secured "combat control" of areas where Russian troops staged an incursion earlier this month.

“Our soldiers have now managed to take combat control of the border area where the Russian occupiers entered,” Zelenskyy stated in his video address. His comments came after a meeting with military and regional officials in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city.

However, the statements appeared to contradict comments made by Russian officials. Viktor Vodolatskiy, a member of Russia's State Duma lower house of parliament, maintained that Russian forces controlled more than half of the territory in the region, as reported by TASS.

Vodolatskiy was quoted as stating that once Vovchansk was secured, Russian forces would target three cities in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region – Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, and Pokrovsk. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military's General Staff, in its evening report, described the situation in Vovchansk as“tense but under the control of the defense forces.”

“The Russian army today launched air terror against this town – eight guided bombs hit the town,” he said.


AsiaNet News

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