White House authorizes another $350 million in military aid for Ukraine

The latest injection of aid is intended to provide Ukraine with much-needed ammunition ahead of the planned spring offensive.

U.S. officials announced on Monday that the Biden administration had approved a new $350 million military aid package for Ukraine, providing a much-needed infusion as the country prepared for an offensive despite ammunition shortages.

In a statement, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken detailed the aid package’s contents, which included “ammunition for Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, HARM missiles, anti-tank weapons, riverboats, and other equipment,” including more ammunition for howitzers and HIMARS rocket launchers, the US-made truck-mounted rocket system.

This additional withdrawal of military material from the Pentagon arsenals is the 34th since last August, the Department of Defense reported in a statement. “To meet Ukraine’s changing needs on the battlefield, the United States will continue to work with its allies and partners to provide Ukraine with key capabilities,” the statement added.

Since August of 2021, when the Biden government took office, they have released a total of about $19.95 billion. The Defense Department estimates that the United States has given Ukraine almost $32.5 billion in security aid since the conflict began.

White House authorizes another $350 million in military aid for Ukraine

The ammunition shortage concerns the Ukrainian military, which uses artillery shells faster than its Western allies can produce and supply them. This has sometimes led to firing far fewer artillery shells than they otherwise would.

The full contents of the help package are as below:

  • ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);
  • 155mm artillery shells;
  • 25mm ammunition for Bradley pistols;
  • High-velocity anti-radiation missiles (HARMs) for Ukrainian aircraft;
  • mortars with 81 mm and 60 mm shells;
  • AT-4 anti-armor weapon systems;
  • grenade launchers, small arms, and associated ammunition;
  • demolition ammunition and obstacle clearance equipment;
  • mine clearance equipment;
  • heavy fuel tanker trucks;
  • thermal imagers, optics and laser rangefinders;
  • river patrol boats;
  • test and diagnostic equipment to support vehicle maintenance and repair;
  • spare parts and other field equipment.

The eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, Donbas region, destroyed by month-long fighting, has seen Ukrainian troops burn equipment. The army is trying to keep the city under control by firing thousands of artillery shells daily.

On Monday, the European Union’s foreign and defense ministers agreed to allocate up to 2 billion euros to supply Ukraine with artillery shells, increase European ammunition production and replenish its national reserves. Details of the agreement have not yet been finalized.

“Russia alone could end its war today. Until Russia does, we will remain united with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Blinken said Monday.

The announcement of Washington’s latest assistance package came on the same day that Chinese President Xi Jinping met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to promote Beijing’s role as a potential peacemaker in Ukraine.

Xi was the first leader to meet Putin since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader on Friday over the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.