On the sixth anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, US President Joe Biden announced $2.98 billion in new military aid.
In an August 24 statement, Biden said the latest round of military aid will enable Ukraine to acquire air defense systems, artillery systems and ammunition, as well as other equipment. Biden said the latest round of aides “ensures he [Ukraine] can continue to defend itself over the long term.
The aid and the sixth anniversary come as Ukraine celebrates its 1991 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union.
“I know that this Independence Day is bittersweet for many Ukrainians, as thousands have been killed or injured, millions have been displaced from their homes and so many more have been victims of atrocities and of Russian attacks,” Biden said. “But six months of relentless attacks have only strengthened the pride of Ukrainians in themselves, in their country and in their 31 years of independence.”
The package, provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, includes the following capabilities:
- Six additional National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) with additional munitions for the NASAMS;
- Up to 245,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition;
- Up to 65,000 120mm mortar rounds;
- Up to 24 counter-artillery radars;
- Puma unmanned aerial systems and support equipment for ScanEagle UAS systems;
- VAMPIRE anti-unmanned aerial systems;
- Laser-guided rocket systems;
- Funding for training, maintenance and sustainment.
While previous aid packages aimed to help Ukraine defend itself against the immediate Russian threat, this package provides longer-term assistance.
“The United States of America is committed to supporting the people of Ukraine as they continue the fight to defend their sovereignty,” Biden said.
The United States has committed more than $13.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since January 2021. In total, the United States has committed more than $15.5 billion in security assistance. safety in Ukraine since 2014.
On August 23, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg took note of the extension of aid to Ukraine, reaffirming NATO’s support.
“Winter is coming, and it will be tough, and what we are seeing now is a bitter war of attrition. It is a battle of wills and a battle of logistics. Therefore, we must maintain our support for Ukraine over the long term, so that Ukraine prevails as a sovereign and independent nation,” Stoltenberg said, speaking at a virtual Crimea conference hosted by Ukraine.
Other NATO allies also use Ukraine’s Independence Day to announce additional support and assistance.
Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, said Germany was providing more than 500 million euros (nearly $500 million) in aid, including anti-aircraft systems. The aid will include rocket launchers, ammunition, anti-drone equipment, 12 armored recovery vehicles and three additional IRIS-T long-range air defense systems.
The funding still needs to be approved by the German parliament.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $3.85 million for two projects managed under the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program. About $2.9 million will go towards the continued development of the Ukrainian National Police and other emergency services, and about $950,000 to help advise the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.