Pentagon plans ‘years’ of military aid to Ukraine — RT World News

US reveals $400m in new arms shipments to Kyiv, intends to keep aid going for ‘months and years’

President Joe Biden’s administration has announced $400 million in new weapons assistance to Ukraine, including four additional HIMARS rocket systems, and plans to continue supplying this equipment to Kyiv for « Months and years to come. »

A Pentagon official spoke about planning efforts to meet kyiv’s short- and long-term weapons needs during a briefing to reporters on Friday. The latest round of aid will be provided under Biden’s drawdown authority, which means it will not require congressional approval, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The new batch of HIMARS units follows previous deliveries of eight such rocket systems. HIMARS stands for High Mobility Aircraft Rocket System, a precision artillery launcher that can hit targets 80 kilometers away. The new deliveries, which represent Washington’s 15th military aid program to Ukraine since last August, will also include 1,000 rounds of advanced 155mm howitzers. The new munitions have greater accuracy than standard artillery shells and will boost Ukraine’s ability to target Russian assets, the Pentagon said.

“What we are seeing now, as the United States has deployed HIMARS and the missiles from these systems, is that Ukraine has now succeeded in hitting Russian positions in Ukraine, deeper behind the front lines and disrupt Russia’s ability to conduct this artillery operation, » he added. said the official.

Russian forces on Wednesday destroyed two HIMARS systems and ammunition depots supplied by the United States, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Some of the foreign weapons supplied to Ukraine did not reach their destination and ended up on black markets abroad, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said earlier this week.

The Pentagon official claimed that all HIMARS units previously shipped to Ukraine had been accounted for. Regarding the concerns raised by members of Congress about how the United States monitors the weapons it gives to Kyiv, the official said: « We are following this very closely and we are very aware of our duties and obligations to remain aware of the capabilities we are providing to Ukraine. »

Russian forces have reportedly made big gains in the Donbass, including taking full control of the Lugansk People’s Republic. kyiv needs more heavy weapons, including howitzers and HIMARS, to counter Russia’s attack « scorched earth tactic » said Andrey Yermak, chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Despite Russia’s recent successes on the battlefield, the Pentagon said those gains were hard-won and costly, presaging a protracted conflict. « We don’t see this at all as Russia winning this battle, » said the official. « Certainly they don’t earn it relative to their original goals. »

Russia sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, citing kyiv’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, intended to give the Donetsk and Lugansk regions special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that kyiv’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to save time and « to create powerful armed forces. »

Russia says it destroyed US HIMARS in Ukraine

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbas republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked.


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