A further $1.1 billion in aid has been provided by the Pentagon to Ukraine, bringing the total amount of military assistance from the Pentagon to nearly $17 billion since the Biden administration came into office. In addition to 18 more HIMARS, the current package includes ammunition and weapons that have proven highly effective in helping Ukraine defend its territory against Russian forces.
Biden administration announced that the United States would provide Ukraine with an additional $1.1 billion in assistance. It will also include funding for eighteen more advanced rocket systems and other weapons to counter Russian drones currently operating in Ukraine.#Military pic.twitter.com/w3aMUgWwP9
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) September 29, 2022
In addition to the announcement of aid, Russia has announced its plans to annex portions of Russian-occupied Ukraine that held referendums on living under its control, which the Kremlin has orchestrated. Ukrainian officials and those in the West condemned the elections as illegal and rigged. “No matter what happens, how high the tensions are, we are not going to lose sight of our commitment to provide security assistance to Ukraine, for as long as it takes for the Ukrainian people to defend themselves,” Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Press Secretary, said.
Considering that the funding will be used to secure contracts for weapons and equipment, this funding will be an essential tool to help Ukraine ensure its long-term defense needs. However, Ukraine will likely have to wait a year or two before receiving the systems. There has been an immediate use of Pentagon drawdown authority by the US to provide weapons to the military more quickly. A further announcement regarding Defense Department assistance is expected beginning early next week.
Further Details of the Aid package
The HIMARS and other similar systems have played a crucial role in Ukraine’s recent victories. Moreover, the Russians have used Iranian-made drones to target Ukrainian forces, demonstrating the importance of obtaining more defensive systems to counter such a threat. Several radars, communications, surveillance equipment, and other gear for soldiers are also included in the package.
Additionally, there are about 300 vehicles, dozens of trucks, and trailers to transport heavy equipment, and many radars to be used to transport heavy equipment. It also includes funds for the purchase of explosive detection equipment and for the maintenance and training of that equipment. A senior defense official stated that most of those weapons and equipment would take six to two years to arrive in Ukraine, while the additional HIMARS would take some more years.
Ukraine’s Future Defense Investment
During the discussion, the official stated that the 18 HIMARS were an investment in Ukraine’s future defense and that the contract does not imply that additional HIMARS may be sent more quickly as part of the faster Pentagon drawdown program in the future. On Wednesday, several senior defense and military officials gave reporters details of the assistance package and an army assessment of the conflict.
Russia is now in a new phase in its war against the occupied regions in the south and east as it tries to recover from recent combat losses and use the referendums to consolidate what it has already accomplished. Pro-Russian government officials in the Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia have said they intend to request that Russia incorporate their provinces into its borders. However, it was unclear how the process would unfold in the early stages of the administrative process.