Ukraine will receive another $400 million of U.S. military assistance, according to a Department of Defense press release.
HAWK air defense missiles will be drawn from U.S. inventory, refurbished and transported to Ukraine, said DoD spokesman Todd Lopez in a statement. The drawdown from U.S. military stock also includes four Avenger air defense systems and Stinger missiles.
The Epoch Times further reported:
In a press release, the DOD said the latest drawdown of equipment from U.S. inventories is the 25th authorized by the administration of President Joe Biden since August 2021.
At the White House on Thursday, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the package will include “important air defense contributions” such as missiles for the HAWK air defense system. It will also include four mobile Avenger surface-to-air missile systems that come equipped with Stinger missiles—an air defense system the U.S. has not provided previously to the Ukrainians.
“This increased air defense will be critical for Ukraine as Russia continues to use cruise missiles and Iranian-made drones to attack critical civilian infrastructure,” Sullivan said.
White House deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said the mobile air defense systems can protect Ukraine from incoming Russian cruise missiles, helicopters, and unmanned aerial systems.
“They’re shorter in range, but with some of the additional capabilities that we and Spain and others have provided, like the HAWK missiles. This is something [that] I think fits in well with some of the capabilities that [the Ukrainians] are already using on the battlefield,” she said.
Besides assistance for air defense, the United States is also diminishing its own inventories by sending a large amount of other equipment to Ukraine, including 400 grenade launchers, 100 Humvees, 10,000 mortar rounds, thousands of artillery rounds for howitzers, cold weather gear, and 20 million rounds of ammunition for smaller, individual guns and rifles.
Singh said the decision to send another package worth hundreds of millions comes after consultation with the Ukrainians on what they need in the ongoing war with Russia.
“We discuss with them what they need in this fight. We assess what we can provide and what makes the most sense. This was a request that fulfilled a need … that they wanted,” she said.
The latest drawdown will bring the total U.S. military assistance for Ukraine to more than $19.3 billion since Biden took office. Since 2014, about $21.4 billion in security assistance has been sent to Ukraine.
Republicans advocating an “America First” policy have criticized the Biden administration for not cutting Democrats’ big spending in Ukraine as the total ticket is reaching over $50 billion since Biden took office.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)—who could become speaker if the GOP wins the House—warned last month that his party will not write a “blank check” for Ukraine if they gain the majority in the midterm elections.
“I think Ukraine is very important. I support making sure that we move forward to defeat Russia in that program. But there should be no blank check on anything. We are $31 trillion in debt,” McCarthy said during an interview.
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