The U.S. announced an additional $1 billion in security assistance for Ukraine Monday, the largest military aid package to date, bringing the total to $9.1 billion given so far out of an authorized $54 billion since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
The latest package follows a $550 million drawdown on Aug. 1 and includes munitions for long-range weapons, including High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and armored medical treatment vehicles. However, the package does not include any additional long-range weapons systems, like HIMARS, that have made a significant operational impact in the fight, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Colin H. Kahl said Monday.
“To meet Ukraine’s evolving battlefield requirements, the United States will continue to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with key capabilities calibrated to make a difference,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
Ukrainian forces celebrated the 16 HIMARS Ukraine has received to this point, billing them as a game changer in an otherwise “grinding” fight in the Donbas region, Reuters reported. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the Donbas situation “hell” and admitted on Aug. 2 that, while Ukraine lacked the manpower and equipment to defeat Russia’s invading army, it was doing “everything possible and everything impossible” to obtain the weapons needed to repel Russian troops, Ukrainska Pravda reported.