Cold weather gear, more rockets and bombs included in new $100M aid package to Ukraine
Stars and Stripes November 20, 2023
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon announced a new aid package for Ukraine on Monday that includes more weapons and cold weather gear as the country’s fight with Russia approaches its second winter, officials said.
The Defense Department said the new package is worth as much as $100 million and includes missiles, small-arms ammunition and 155mm artillery shells, which have been in short supply.
“This package includes additional air defense capabilities, artillery ammunition, anti-tank weapons and other equipment to help Ukraine defend its sovereign territory and fight for its freedom from Russia’s ongoing war of aggression,” the department said.
The new package comes from presidential drawdown authority, which allows the Pentagon to take the items from its shelves and send them to Ukraine on an emergency basis.
Once the remaining funds are spent, any new money to help Ukraine would have to be authorized by Congress, which is something President Joe Biden and Democrats and many Republicans are currently working on.
“Security assistance for Ukraine is a smart investment in our national security,” the Defense Department said in a statement Monday. “It helps to prevent a larger conflict in the region and deter potential aggression elsewhere, while strengthening our defense industrial base and creating highly skilled jobs for the American people in dozens of states across the country.”
“It is critical that Congress take action to support Ukraine by passing the president’s supplemental funding request,” the department added.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the United States has given the Eastern European country about $44.2 billion in military aid, the Pentagon said.
Monday’s package came on the same day Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made a surprise visit to Kyiv in a show of support.
“I was honored to meet with President [Volodymyr Zelensky] in Kyiv (Monday) to reaffirm the United States’ steadfast support for Ukraine,” Austin said. “We, along with our allies and partners, will continue to support Ukraine’s urgent battlefield needs and long-term defense requirements.”
Included in Monday’s aid package to Ukraine: