A High Mobility Artillery Rocket System fires during a military exercise in Latvia in September 2022.

A High Mobility Artillery Rocket System fires during a military exercise in Latvia in September 2022. (Ellison Schuman/U.S. Army)

WASHINGTON — The United States is providing another $225 million in munitions to Ukraine that its forces could use to strike targets inside Russia in an effort to defend the city of Kharkiv, the Pentagon announced Friday.

The new military aid includes ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, 155 mm howitzers, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and mortar systems. The equipment will be provided through presidential drawdown authorities, which means equipment is pulled from existing U.S. military stocks and sent to Ukraine on an emergency basis.

The announcement comes after a new U.S. directive allowing Ukraine to use American weapons to strike targets inside Russia for the limited purpose of defending Kharkiv. The change, however, does not alter U.S. policy that directs Ukraine not to use American-provided Army Tactical Missile Systems, known as ATACMS, which are long-range missiles, and other munitions to strike offensively inside Russia, The Associated Press reported.

Russian forces, which had made moderate advances in recent months, launched a surprise assault in the northeast region of Ukraine on May 10 that resulted in their biggest territorial gains in nearly 18 months. Kharkiv is the northeast.

President Joe Biden during a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Paris on Friday for the first time publicly apologized for a monthslong congressional holdup in American military assistance that helped allow Russian forces to make gains on the battlefield.

“I apologize for those weeks of not knowing what’s going to happen in terms of funding,” Biden said, referring to the $95 billion foreign aid bill held up by Republicans in Congress, which included $60 billion for Ukraine. The bill eventually passed in April.

Biden insisted the American people were standing by Ukraine for the long haul.

“You are the bulwark against the aggression that is taking place,” he said. “We’re still in. Completely. Thoroughly.”

The U.S. has now provided more than $51.2 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022.

The items in the military aid announced Friday include:

• Missiles for HAWK air defense systems.

• Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.

• Ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems.

• 155mm Howitzers.

• 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds.

• 81mm mortar systems.

• M113 armored personnel carriers.

• Trailers to transport heavy equipment.

• Coastal and riverine patrol boats.

• Tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missiles.

• Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems.

• Small arms ammunition and grenades.

• Demolitions munitions.

• Night vision devices.

• Spare parts, maintenance, and other ancillary equipment.

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Matthew Adams covers the Defense Department at the Pentagon. His past reporting experience includes covering politics for The Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle and The News and Observer. He is based in Washington, D.C.

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