June 16, 2024

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War in Ukraine | The Pentagon has promised to continue sending weapons to Ukraine

War in Ukraine |  The Pentagon has promised to continue sending weapons to Ukraine

(WASHINGTON) Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin vowed Monday to stop the flow of U.S. arms to Ukraine as Kiev faces one of its toughest moments in the wake of a new offensive by Russia.

Mr. Austin and about 50 defense chiefs from Europe and the world on Monday coordinated more military aid to Ukraine, which has launched its own offensive on the occupied Crimean peninsula as it tries to fend off a Russian offensive in the northeast.

“We’re meeting at a challenging moment,” Austin said, adding that Russia’s latest attack on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, shows why aid is important. He also promised to maintain the US arms fleet “week by week”.

Lloyd Austin told reporters that the team spent a lot of time on Ukraine’s critical need for air defense systems, which he said would help deter Russian attacks.

“We will continue to push to ensure that Ukraine is sovereign and can protect its citizens and its infrastructure from the front lines,” he said after the meeting.

Mr. Speaking with Austin, General Charles Q. Brown Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there are no current plans to send American trainers in Ukraine back to work with Ukrainian forces. Do it after the battle.

“I think if this clash is over and we’re in a good situation, we can bring the coaches back,” he said.

The U.S. announced new aid packages on Monday as Ukrainian forces continue to complain of weapons flowing into the country after being blocked for months by a congressional funding impasse.

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Pentagon officials said weapons that had been delivered in Europe began entering Ukraine shortly after the aid funding was approved in late April. It is unclear how far Russian troops have reached some of the front lines, which have stepped up their attacks.

Ukraine in trouble

Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a visit to China on Friday, said Moscow’s offensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region was aimed at creating a buffer zone, but did not aim to capture the city.

Ukrainian troops are fighting to halt Russian advances in the Kharkiv region, while intensifying their attacks in Crimea, particularly against military infrastructure along the Black Sea coast and the Russian-occupied city of Sevastopol.

As the war enters its third year, Ukraine is struggling to send enough troops to the front lines as the war takes its toll. In an attempt to increase the number of troops, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed two laws allowing prisoners to join the army and imposing a five-fold fine on those trying to avoid military service. The controversial mobilization law comes into force from Saturday.

In the four weeks since President Joe Biden signed a US$95 billion foreign aid package, including about US$61 billion for Ukraine, the US has sent US$1.4 billion in weapons removed from Pentagon stockpiles and announced US$6 billion in financial aid. Ukraine Defense Assistance Initiative.

The initiative funds long-term contracts with the Defense Department, meaning weapons can take months or even years to arrive.

Recently, the US agreed to deploy High Mobility Artillery Missile Systems (HIMARS) and rockets. , and a variety of armored vehicles.

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The State Department also approved an emergency sale of HIMARS to Ukraine for US$30 million. The government said Ukraine has requested the purchase of three missile systems funded by the German government.

The United States is also providing additional coastal and riverine patrol vessels, trailers, demolition munitions, high-speed anti-radiation missiles, defense equipment, spare parts, and other weapons and equipment.

The United States has now provided approximately $50.6 billion in military aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022.