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US Announces $820M in Ukraine Aid      07/02 08:36

   The U.S. announced on Friday that it will provide Ukraine with $820 million 
in new military aid, including new surface-to-air missile systems and 
counter-artillery radars to respond to Russia's heavy reliance on long-range 
strikes in the war.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. announced on Friday that it will provide Ukraine 
with $820 million in new military aid, including new surface-to-air missile 
systems and counter-artillery radars to respond to Russia's heavy reliance on 
long-range strikes in the war.

   Russia in recent days has launched dozens of missiles across Ukraine and 
pinned down Ukrainian forces with continuous fire for sometimes hours at a 
time. Ukraine's leaders have publicly called on Western allies to quickly send 
more ammunition and advanced systems that will help them narrow the gap in 
equipment and manpower.

   All told, the U.S. has committed more than $8.8 billion in weapons and 
military training to Ukraine, whose leaders have sought more help from Western 
allies to repel larger and heavily equipped Russian forces. About $7 billion of 
that aid has been announced since Russia's February invasion.

   "We are going to support Ukraine as long as it takes," President Joe Biden 
said this week at a press conference during the NATO summit in Madrid. He 
argued that Russia had already suffered a blow to its international standing 
and major damage to its economy from Western sanctions imposed over the 
invasion.

   The U.S. is giving Ukrainians "the capacity" so that "they can continue to 
resist the Russian aggression," Biden said. "And so I don't know how it's going 
to end, but it will not end with a Russian defeat of Ukraine in Ukraine."

   Much of the aid formally announced Friday will take weeks or months to reach 
Ukraine.

   As part of the new package, the U.S. will purchase two systems known as 
NASAMS, a Norwegian-developed anti-aircraft system that is used to protect the 
airspace around the White House and Capitol in Washington. A senior defense 
official told reporters the NASAMS are intended to help Ukraine transition away 
from using Soviet-era air defense systems that besides being well known to the 
Russians have to be repaired with spare parts that are hard to procure. The 
official briefed reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss military 
assessments.

   Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude.

   "I am especially grateful today to the United States and to Biden personally 
for the package of support for Ukraine announced today, which includes very 
powerful NASAMS -- an anti-aircraft missile system that will significantly 
strengthen our air defense. We have worked hard for these supplies," Zelenskyy 
said late Friday in his nightly video address.

   The Pentagon will also provide the Ukrainians with up to 150,000 rounds of 
155-millimeter artillery ammunition. Given the high usage of artillery on both 
sides, it's unclear how long those new rounds would last. The official declined 
to say how many estimated rounds Ukraine and Russia are firing daily.

   And the Pentagon will also buy four counter-artillery radars for Ukraine. 
Those new purchases, funded by the Pentagon's Ukraine Security Assistance 
Initiative, require weeks at a minimum for defense companies to build. 
Ukrainians are also being trained to use the newly provided systems.

   The Pentagon will also provide additional ammunition for medium-range rocket 
systems it provided Ukraine in June, known as the High Mobility Artillery 
Rocket Systems, or HIMARS. The ammunition will come from the Defense 
Department's own inventory under what's known as drawdown authority and will be 
made available to Ukraine more quickly.

   This is the 14th package of military weapons and equipment transferred to 
Ukraine from Defense Department stocks since August 2021.

   The war has evolved into a grinding stalemate in which both sides are 
heavily reliant on artillery, according to Western officials and analysts. 
While Russia has not achieved its initial goals of toppling Ukraine's 
government, it is believed to be making slow progress in consolidating control 
over the eastern Ukrainian region known as the Donbas.

 
 
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