Ukrainian servicemen prepare to fire a BM-21 Grad multiple launch rocket system towards Russian troops near a front line, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, Ukraine August 11, 2023. (Reuters)

US announces $600 mln security assistance package for Ukraine

The United States on Thursday announced a new $600 million security assistance package for Ukraine that includes demolition munitions and mine-clearing equipment as well as artillery ammunition.

The aid will not immediately arrive on the battlefield, as it falls under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), under which Washington procures equipment from the defense industry or partners rather than drawing from US stocks.

The package will “support Ukraine’s battlefield needs” and demonstrates “unwavering US support for Ukraine,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

The latest announcement comes a day after Washington pledged more than $1 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Kyiv, including 120mm depleted uranium rounds for M1 Abrams tanks that are expected to be delivered before the end of the year.

Depleted uranium munitions are controversial due to their association with health problems such as cancer and birth defects in areas where they were used in past conflicts, though they have not been definitively proven to have caused such issues.

The density of depleted uranium – a by-product of the nuclear enrichment process – helps rounds containing it to punch through heavy armor, making it ideal for use in ammunition designed to target tanks.

Russia has sharply criticized the US decision to provide the depleted uranium munitions, but Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh defended the move on Thursday.

“We feel that these will be the most effective rounds to counter Russian tanks and will help… the Ukrainians to defend” their territory, Singh told journalists.

US officials have spearheaded the push for international support for Ukraine, quickly forging a coalition to back Kyiv after Russia invaded last year and coordinating aid from dozens of countries.

Read more of this story

Visited 118 times, 1 visit(s) today

Comments are closed.