WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The Pentagon has committed $2 billion to Ukraine on the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion, which includes ammunition, small high-tech drones, and electronic warfare detection equipment.
- This aid package brings the total amount of US security assistance to Ukraine to over $32 billion since Russia’s invasion.
- The move comes after President Joe Biden’s visit to Kyiv, where he pledged America’s continuing commitment to Ukraine.
The Pentagon has announced a $2 billion aid package for Ukraine, marking the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion.
The aid includes a variety of weapons to counter Russia's unmanned systems, such as small high-tech drones, electronic warfare detection equipment, and ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, artillery rounds, and munitions for laser-guided rocket systems.
The aid is part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which provides funding for longer-term contracts to buy weapons and equipment. The total amount of US security assistance to Ukraine since Russia's invasion is now over $32 billion.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the first anniversary of Russia's invasion is an opportunity to recommit to supporting Ukraine's defenders for the long haul.
President Joe Biden has also pledged America's continuing commitment to Ukraine during his recent visit to Kyiv.
The White House released a statement that the G7 countries will continue to coordinate their efforts to support Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for its war. The statement also said that "sweeping" sanctions on over 200 people and entities will be implemented, and further restrictions on exports to Russia will be put in place.
The latest aid package includes mine clearing and communications equipment and funding for training, maintenance, and sustainment for Ukraine's forces. However, the equipment could take a year or two to get to the battlefront, making it unlikely to help Ukraine prepare for an expected new offensive in the spring.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed that Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy discussed Ukraine's request for F-16 fighter jets during the US president's visit to Kyiv, suggesting that the request could be revisited for long-term defense.