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Biden approves a new $300M military aid package for Ukraine

by Sophia Chen
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Military aid package for Ukraine

Biden Approves $300M Military Aid Package for Ukraine

President Joe Biden has given his approval for a new military aid package for Ukraine, amounting to $300 million. This aid includes additional munitions for drones and a range of other weapons. The decision comes at a time when Russia continues its attacks on Ukraine’s capital, and unmanned aircraft have targeted Moscow.

Clarification on Drone Strikes and U.S. Position

U.S. officials have clarified that there is no indication that U.S.-made drones or munitions were involved in the drone strikes on Moscow, which the Kremlin attributed to Ukraine but Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for. The Biden administration has explicitly conveyed to Ukraine that weapons of U.S. origin should not be used for attacks within Russian territory.

According to White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, the U.S. does not dictate where Ukraine should or should not strike. The decisions regarding military actions lie with President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian military commanders. However, the U.S. has made it clear both privately and publicly that it does not support attacks on Russia.

Enhancing Ukraine’s Air Defense Capabilities

The new aid package aims to strengthen Ukraine’s air defense capabilities in countering Russia’s air assaults on Kyiv. It provides munitions for Patriot missile batteries, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), Avenger and Stinger air defense systems, mine-clearing equipment, anti-armor rounds, unguided Zuni aircraft rockets, night vision goggles, approximately 30 million rounds of small arms ammunition, and undisclosed quantities of other artillery rounds.

Drone Attack on Moscow and International Response

Recently, Moscow experienced a rare drone attack that caused minor damage to residential buildings. Russian officials have criticized the lack of condemnation from the West, which has consistently sought to prevent the conflict from escalating beyond Ukraine. When questioned about Moscow’s allegations of quiet support for attacks on Russian soil, Kirby dismissed their claims, acknowledging that the Russians would not believe his statements. He reiterated the U.S.’s unchanged policy of not enabling or encouraging strikes inside Russia.

Ukrainian Response and Details of the Aid Package

Ukrainian officials expressed satisfaction with the drone attack on Moscow but refrained from claiming responsibility, a pattern consistent with their response to previous attacks on Russian territory. Specific details about the drone munitions included in the aid package were not provided by U.S. officials, nor did they specify the unmanned aircraft that would utilize them. Over the past year, the Defense Department has supplied Ukraine with various unmanned aircraft for surveillance and attacks, including multiple versions of the Switchblade, a kamikaze drone capable of loitering in the air and then detonating upon reaching its target.

Total U.S. Assistance to Ukraine and Implementation of the Aid Package

With this new aid package, the U.S. has committed over $37.6 billion in weapons and equipment to Ukraine since Russia’s attack in February 2022. The implementation of this package falls under the presidential drawdown authority, enabling the Pentagon to swiftly transfer weapons from its own stockpile to Ukraine.

What does the $300M military aid package for Ukraine entail?

The $300 million military aid package for Ukraine includes additional munitions for drones and a variety of other weapons. It aims to enhance Ukraine’s air defense capabilities against Russia’s air assaults on Kyiv. The package provides munitions for Patriot missile batteries, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), Avenger and Stinger air defense systems, mine-clearing equipment, anti-armor rounds, unguided Zuni aircraft rockets, night vision goggles, approximately 30 million rounds of small arms ammunition, and undisclosed quantities of other artillery rounds.

Is the United States supporting attacks inside Russia?

No, the Biden administration has made it clear that it does not support attacks inside Russia. While the U.S. does not dictate Ukraine’s military actions, it has conveyed to Ukraine that U.S.-made weapons should not be used for attacks within Russian territory. The U.S. has emphasized its commitment to not enabling or encouraging strikes inside Russia.

How has the West responded to the recent drone attack on Moscow?

Russian officials have criticized the West for what they perceive as a lack of condemnation regarding the drone attack on Moscow. The West has consistently sought to prevent the conflict from expanding beyond Ukraine. The U.S. has reiterated its policy of not enabling or encouraging strikes inside Russia and has not changed its stance despite Moscow’s criticism.

What is the total assistance provided by the U.S. to Ukraine?

Including this latest aid package, the U.S. has committed over $37.6 billion in weapons and other equipment to Ukraine since Russia’s attack in February 2022. This aid is aimed at supporting Ukraine’s defense capabilities and bolstering their ability to withstand Russian aggression.

How will the aid package be implemented?

The aid package will be executed under the presidential drawdown authority, which allows the Pentagon to use its own stocks of weapons and equipment to swiftly provide assistance to Ukraine. This enables expedited shipping of the necessary resources to Ukraine’s military.

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