US authorises $1bn more in security aid to Ukraine, including artillery rockets

Senior US official said Russia suffered up to 80,000 deaths and injuries in the war

The US promises what will be the biggest yet delivery of rockets, ammunition and other arms from Department of Defence stocks for Ukrainian forces. AP
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The US government has provided another $1 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, the largest single amount since the war began nearly six months ago, including munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (Himars).

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the announcement, reaffirming Washington’s sustained support for Kyiv in its defence against Russia.

“Today, I am authorising our largest single drawdown of US arms and equipment," Mr Blinken said.

"This 18th drawdown since August 2021 of up to $1bn includes arms, munitions and equipment from US Department of Defence inventories for Ukraine’s self-defence."

The US Defence Department said the package includes more ammunition for Himars, 75,000 rounds of 155-millimetre artillery ammunition, and 20 120mm mortar systems and 20,000 rounds of ammunition for them.

It also includes munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, 1,000 Javelin missiles and hundreds of AT4 anti-armour systems, and 50 armoured medical treatment vehicles.

Claymore anti-personnel munitions, C-4 explosives, demolition munitions and equipment, and medical supplies are also in the package.

The Himars are a mobile unit that can simultaneously launch several precision-guided missiles.

Russia also operates multiple-rocket launchers, but Himars have superior range and precision, with rockets able to fly as far as 80 kilometres.

“At every stage of this conflict, we have been focused on getting the Ukrainians what they need, depending on the evolving conditions on the battlefield,” Colin Kahl, undersecretary of defence for policy, said from the Pentagon.

Mr Kahl estimated that Russian forces have incurred up to 80,000 deaths and injuries in the war, and lost between 3,000 and 4,000 armoured vehicles.

He acknowledged “incremental” gains that the Russian troops have made in eastern Ukraine, but said progress had slowed in recent weeks

Those gains have “come at extraordinary cost to the Russian military because of how well the Ukrainian military has performed and all the assistance that the Ukrainian military has gotten," Mr Kahl said.

"And I think now, conditions in the east have essentially stabilised and the focus is really shifting to the south."

He said sending fighter jets such as the F-16s was not under consideration, but, it’s “not inconceivable that western aircraft down the road could be part of the mix".

Also on Monday, the US announced it will provide another $4.5bn to Ukraine's government in budgetary assistance, bringing its total to $8.5bn.

The US Agency for International Development is co-ordinating the funding with the US Treasury Department through the World Bank.

It will go to the Ukraine government in increments, beginning with a $3bn disbursement in August, the agency said.

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Updated: August 08, 2022, 10:44 PM
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