US announces new $625 million security package for Ukraine – Orange County Register

By AAMER MADHANI | Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The U.S. on Tuesday announced plans to provide Ukraine with an additional $625 million in military aid, a package that includes additional advanced missile systems credited with helping the country’s military gain momentum in its war with Russia to win.

President Joe Biden, speaking with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, gave details of the latest package, which includes four highly mobile artillery missile systems known as HIMARS, 200 mine-resistant vehicles, hundreds of thousands of artillery and mortar rounds. Vice President Kamala Harris joined the leaders’ call on Tuesday.

U.S. and Ukrainian leaders spoke as Russia’s upper house on Tuesday formally approved the annexation of parts of Ukraine’s territory after referenda dismissed Ukraine and its western allies as fraudulent.

“President Biden also reiterated the United States’ continued willingness to impose heavy costs on any person, entity, or country that supports the alleged annexation of Russia,” the White House said in a statement.

This military aid marks the first time the US has deployed additional HIMARS to Ukraine since late July. The systems – which will bring the total number of HIMARS deployed to Ukraine to 20 – have become a key tool in Ukraine’s ability to storm bridges that Russia has been using to resupply its troops and allow Ukrainian forces to intervene in invade Russian-controlled regions.

The US has also provided funds through a separate program – the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative – in recent weeks, allowing an additional 18 HIMARS to be purchased through longer-term contracts. USAI funds are being used as part of efforts by the US and Western allies to ensure Ukrainian forces are trained and equipped to defend their country for years to come. However, the fulfillment of these contracts will take several years.

This is the first tranche of US assistance provided in the new fiscal year that began October 1st. US announces new $625 million security package for Ukraine – Orange County Register

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