Pentagon gives $2.1 billion military aid to Ukraine

The Pentagon has announced a $2.1 billion military aid package for Ukraine, focusing on air defense and ammunition to support the country's counteroffensive against Russian invaders. The package includes missiles for the Patriot air defense system, which has been credited with shooting down Russian missile barrages on Ukrainian cities. Russia has fortified its defenses along more than 600 miles inside Ukraine, and the most heavily fortified province is Zaporizhzhya. The report notes that the fortifications are extensive but not insurmountable, in large part due to the poor performance of Russian forces in the war who have been badly led, equipped, and supplied. Since December, 100,000 Russian troops have been wounded or killed in fighting. The Biden administration tapped funds from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which pays contractors to produce the weapons. Most of the Pentagon’s aid has come under Presidential Drawdown Authority, which sends Ukraine military aid from existing Pentagon stocks. In all, the Pentagon has provided nearly $40 billion in military assistance since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Ukraine has been preparing its counteroffensive for months, adding western tanks and armored personnel carriers to its arsenal. Ukrainian soldiers have been training in Germany to synchronize their attack with artillery and air support. Heavy fighting has been reported in recent days in southern Ukraine near Zaporizhzhya. The fighting was described as back-and-forth by a senior U.S. official who was not authorized to speak publicly. It is too soon to say who has the upper hand.


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