US to send $3.75B in military aid to Ukraine, its neighbors

The US will send 3.75 billion US dollars in military weapons and other aid to Ukraine and its neighbors on NATO’s eastern flank, the White House announced on Friday as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine grinds on.

The last part of the aid will include the Bradley armored personnel carrier for the first time. for Ukraine. The armored personnel carrier is used to transport troops into combat and is known as a “tank killer” because of the anti-tank missile it can fire.

So far, the largest US aid package to Kiev includes 2.85 billion According to the White House, from the Pentagon’s stockpile, which will be sent directly to Ukraine, and 225 million It also includes 682 million US dollars in foreign military financing to European allies to help Ukraine donate military equipment.

“The war is at a critical point and we must do everything we can to help Ukrainians resist Russian aggression,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in announcing the aid.

Direct aid to Ukraine includes 50 Bradleys, 500 anti-tank missiles and 250,000 rounds of ammunition for carriers. The U.S. is also sending 100 M113 armored personnel carriers, 55 mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, or MRAPS, and 138 Humvees, as well as ammunition for high-mobility artillery missile systems and air defense systems and other weapons and thousands of artillery rounds, according to the Pentagon.

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John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said the Bradleys would be particularly useful for Ukraine amid intense fighting in rural areas of eastern Ukraine.

“It has a lot to do with the war we’re seeing on the ground right now and what we expect to see over the winter months,” Kirby said.

Critics have complained that the U.S. has been too slow to deliver major weapons like the Bradley and battle tanks like the Abrams, saying they could have helped in the fight last year.

At the Pentagon, Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary for Russia and Ukraine, said now is the right time to give Bradley. “Ukrainians have shown a lot of growing maintenance and maintenance skills,” she said.

U.S.-led training starting later this month will allow troops to operate, maintain and repair the weapons, she added, while equipping tanks such as the Pentagon’s more sophisticated, gas-guzzling, heavily armored M1 Abrams tank requires more maintenance. and other training.

As announced by Germany, the White House and the Pentagon detailed the new US package it would deliver about 40 Marder armored vehicles to Ukraine in the first quarter of this year.

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Germany announced its intention after Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s call to send Marder’s APC and President Joe Biden on Thursday.

“These 40 vehicles should be ready already in the first quarter for handover to Ukraine,” Scholz spokesman Steffen Hebestreit told reporters in Berlin. Germany plans to train Ukrainian forces to use the vehicles, and Hebestreit said experts expect the process to take about eight weeks.

Germany has already provided significant military aid, including howitzers, Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns and the IRIS-T surface-to-air missile system, with three more to come this year.

Scholz has long been wary of pressure to supply the Marder and other heavier Western-made vehicles such as tanks, insisting that Germany would not face such deliveries alone. Officials noted that other countries have not provided them. But this week, FranceUnited States of America and Germany has announced plans to send similar armored vehicles that do not match tanks.

Last year, Germany advocated deals in which eastern NATO allies would send familiar Soviet-era equipment to Ukraine, while Germany would in turn supply those countries with more modern Western-made equipment.

Hebestreit said that since mid-December, negotiations have been underway with the United States and other countries on how to continue supporting Ukraine. He said the supply of Soviet-made equipment was “slowly running out” and the situation in Ukraine was changing due to massive Russian strikes on infrastructure and fighting that could intensify as the weather warmed.

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Ukraine and a number of German lawmakers inside and outside of Scholz’s ruling coalition have also called on Germany to deliver Leopard 2 main battle tanks. Supporters of the Leopard delivery welcomed the Marder APC move and vowed to continue pressing the point.

But Hebestreit said battle tanks were not an issue in Thursday’s conversation between Scholz and Biden. He said that Germany will stick to its principles of supporting Ukraine as firmly as possible, not just for the supply of weapons, and will ensure that NATO does not become a party to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Germany also said Thursday it would follow the United States in supplying Ukraine with a battery of Patriot air defense missiles. This was done at the request of the US and is also expected in the first quarter, Hebestreit said.

It complements the Patriot systems that Germany has sent or plans to send to Slovakia and Poland.


Associated Press reporters Seung Min Kim and Aamer Madhani contributed reporting.

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