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US assistance package to Ukraine acknowledges Russian gains

A high mobility artillery rocket system from 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 18th Field Artillery Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, fires a rocket during a HIMARS rapid infiltration exercise at Camp Adazi, Latvia, 2 December 2023. Photo: Army Staff Sgt. Oscar Gollaz

The US government has announced a new security assistance package for Ukraine as officials fear territorial gains made by Russian military forces in the war-torn country.

The US government has announced a new security assistance package for Ukraine as officials fear territorial gains made by Russian military forces in the war-torn country.

The US Department of Defense announced the package to address ongoing battlefield needs and demonstrate unwavering US support for the country under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.

The 26 April announcement, totalling up to $6 billion, includes Patriot air defence munitions, National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems munitions, counter-unmanned aerial systems, laser-guided rocket munitions, multi-mission radars and counter-artillery radars.


It also includes High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems munitions, 155mm and 152mm artillery rounds, precision aerial munitions, demolition munitions, Switchblade and Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems, tactical vehicles to tow weapons and equipment, small arms and small arms ammunition, UAS production components as well as integration equipment for Western air defence launchers, missiles and radars.

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, speaking to an off-camera, on-the-record press briefing on 29 April, said the situation in Ukraine had worsened this year.

“We acknowledge … that yes, Russia has been able to make some gains, and in the time that we did not have a supplemental – and that was months and months of not having a supplemental – that certainly did, you know, set the Ukrainians back,” according to press secretary Singh.

“We do thank Congress for their efforts in passing the supplemental, which allowed us to almost immediately get out a $1 billion package on the PDA, $6 billion in USAI, which is for a long-term commitment.

“Ukraine is not out on this fight. They continue to fight valiantly, and while we have seen some … gains from the Russians, with our security assistance, with commitments from other partner nations, as you saw coming out of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG), we feel confident that Ukraine will have what it needs on the battlefield.”

The Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a coalition of about 50 nations that meets monthly to discuss Ukraine’s security needs, has also declared future focus areas on air defence, air power, artillery, maritime security, armour, information technology, demining and unmanned aerial vehicles.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin III, speaking at the 21st meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group on 26 April, said since its first meeting, participating UDCG nations have collectively provided more than $95 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.

“I’m ... pleased to announce today an additional commitment of $6 billion through our Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative that will allow us to procure new capabilities for Ukraine from US industry,” Austin said.

“This is the largest security assistance package that we’ve committed to date.

“Our contact group partners have contributed most of the counter-UAS systems provided to Ukraine and most of the 155mm artillery systems, most of the tanks, most of the armoured personnel carriers, most of the infantry fighting vehicles and more.

“Throughout Putin’s war of choice, these contributions have been crucial, and they’ve saved countless Ukrainian lives.”

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