Sun, 02 Oct 2022

Washington [US], August 19 (ANI): The US Defence Department on Friday announced that it would provide a new USD 775 million in additional military assistance to Ukraine, including HIMARS missiles, artillery, and mine-clearing systems.

The package will be sent through the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), a senior defense official said as quoted by CNN.

In this assistance, the US will give 15 Scan Eagle drones to assist with targeting reconnaissance for Ukraine's artillery, 40 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs) that will allow the Ukrainians to move through mined areas, High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARMs) for Ukraine to target Russian radars and 1,500 tube-launched optically-tracked wire-guided missiles (TOW missiles) to target Russian armor, according to CNN. With this latest package, the Biden administration has now committed over USD 10 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. This is the 19th PDA package the department has provided Ukraine with since August 2021.

Earlier, on August 8, US announced USD 1 billion in security assistance for Ukraine to meet its critical security and defence needs amid the ongoing war with Russia.

This latest authorization is the Biden administration's eighteenth drawdown of equipment from DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021. The new package includes ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), as well as 75,000 rounds of 155 mm artillery ammunition and 50 armoured medical treatment vehicles.

"It is the largest single drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment utilizing this authority, and this package provides a significant amount of additional ammunition, weapons, and equipment - the types of which the Ukrainian people are using so effectively to defend their country," a Pentagon statement said.

Announcing the military aid, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration will continue to support the Ukrainian people as they defend their country from Russian aggression.

"Nearly six months into the unprovoked and brutal assault on Ukraine, Russia continues its destruction of Ukrainian towns and villages. President Biden has been clear that we will continue to support the Ukrainian people as they defend their country from Russian aggression, for as long as it takes," said Blinken.

Meanwhile, on August 10, US announced to provide the USD 89 million of the Fiscal Year 2022 funding to the Ukrainian government to address urgent humanitarian challenges, according to the statement released by the State Department.

The US funding will deploy approximately 100 demining teams and will support a large-scale train and equip project to strengthen the Government of Ukraine's demining and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) capacity.

"Russia's unlawful and unprovoked further invasion of Ukraine has littered massive swaths of the country with landmines, unexploded ordnance, and improvised explosive devices," the statement reads.

The statement further noted that the way improvised explosive devices are used by Russia in Ukraine is previously only associated with ISIS in Syria. These explosive hazards block access to fertile farmland, delay reconstruction efforts, prevent displaced communities from returning to their homes, and continue to kill and maim innocent Ukrainian civilians.

"The Government of Ukraine estimates that 160,000 square kilometres of its land may be contaminated - this is roughly the size of Virginia, Maryland, and Connecticut combined," the statement added.

Since 1993, the US has invested over USD 4.2 billion for the safe clearance of landmines and explosive weapons of war (ERW) as well as the securing and safe disposal of excess small arms and light weapons (SA/LW) and munitions in more than 100 countries and territories.

"The US is the world's single largest financial supporter of conventional weapons destruction," the statement reads. In total, the United States has now committed approximately USD 9.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration. Since 2014, the United States has committed more than USD 11.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. (ANI)

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