- The new round of U.S. military aid for Ukraine totals $700 million, the Biden administration said.
- The U.S. is sending 1,000 Javelins and rocket-launcher systems called HIMARS, the Pentagon said.
- The White House has sent about $4.6 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February, according to the Pentagon.
The U.S. is sending Ukraine advanced rocket-launcher systems and 1,000 Javelin missiles as part of the Biden administration's latest effort to arm the Ukrainian soldiers fighting off Russia's invasion, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
The new round of military assistance for Ukraine totals $700 million, the administration said. It's the 11th aid package that the U.S. has sent to Ukraine, and the first to come from the $40 billion that Congress allocated for Kyiv last month.
Here's a list of what's included in the latest batch of security assistance, according to the Pentagon:
- Four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, known as HIMARS, and ammunition;
- Five counter-artillery radars;
- Two air surveillance radars;
- 1,000 Javelins and 50 Command Launch Units;
- 6,000 antiarmor weapons;
- 15,000 rounds of 155 mm artillery;
- Four Mi-17 helicopters;
- 15 tactical vehicles;
- Spare parts and equipment.
With the new aid, the Biden administration has sent about $4.6 billion to Ukraine since Russia invaded in late February, according to Pentagon spokesman Todd Breasseale.
More than $7.3 billion in U.S. security assistance has gone to Ukraine since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula, Breasseale said.
President Joe Biden sketched a rough outline of the latest aid package in an essay published Tuesday in The New York Times.
"I've decided that we will provide the Ukrainians with more advanced rocket systems and munitions that will enable them to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine," Biden wrote, adding that the U.S. will also continue to send "Stinger antiaircraft missiles, powerful artillery and precision rocket systems, radars, unmanned aerial vehicles, Mi-17 helicopters and ammunition."
Biden also wrote the U.S. does not want Ukraine to fire those rockets into Russia.
"We are not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders. We do not want to prolong the war just to inflict pain on Russia," he wrote.
Precision rockets fired from HIMARS launching systems can travel more than 43 miles, according to the U.S. Army.
Washington obtained a commitment from Kyiv not to strike Russia with the U.S. weapons, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said at a press briefing Wednesday afternoon. Biden and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have discussed the issue, Kahl said.
The U.S. is "mindful" of the possibility that the new supply of weapons could escalate the conflict with Russia, Kahl said. After the publication of Biden's essay, the Kremlin accused the U.S. of "deliberately pouring oil on the fire," news outlets reported.
But Kahl maintained that "Russia doesn't get a veto" on what equipment the U.S. can provide Ukraine.