The Biden administration announced Wednesday that the US will provide an additional $1.1 billion in aid to Ukraine, with funding for about 18 more advanced rocket systems and other weapons to counter drones that Russia has been using against Ukrainian troops.
With the newly announced aid added under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which funds contracts to purchase weapons and equipment the total of U.S. aid to Ukraine has come to nearly $17 billion since the Biden administration took office.
“We will not be deterred from supporting Ukraine, we will continue to stand with the Ukrainian people, and provide them with the security assistance they need to defend themselves, for as long as it takes,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
The move came after Russia moved to annex parts of Russian-occupied Ukraine that held Kremlin-orchestrated referendums on living under Moscow’s rule. The votes were denounced by Kyiv and the West as illegal and rigged.
The latest package includes funding for 18 of the High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, and ammunition for them, along with 12 Titan systems, which are used to counter drones. Officials have said the HIMARS and other similar systems were key to Ukraine’s battle successes in recent weeks. Also in the package is funding for about 300 vehicles, dozens of trucks and trailers to transport heavy equipment, a variety of radars, communications and surveillance equipment, and other gear for soldiers. It also will include funding for equipment to detect explosives and for maintenance and training.