Pentagon Commits another $2 Billion in Funding to Ukraine

February 24, 2023

Marking one year since Russia’s invasion, the Pentagon on Friday announced a new $2 billion package of long-term assistance to Ukraine.

The new assistance included more ammunition rounds and an assortment of small, high-tech battle drones, including the upgraded Switchblade 600 Kamikaze drone, as well as electronic warfare detection equipment.

The package also incudes money for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and munitions for laser-guided rocket systems.

In a statement the Pentagon said that the money would also buy mine clearing and communications equipment and fund training, maintenance and sustainment for Ukraine’s forces.

The announcement follows President Biden’s pledge of an additional half-billion dollars in U.S. assistance during his surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday, including shells for howitzers, anti-tank missiles, air surveillance radars and other aid but no new advanced weaponry.

All of this week’s additional aid comes on top of the roughly $45 billion that was approved within the bipartisan omnibus spending package that Congress passed in December. 

According to one estimate, the U.S., the UK and the EU provided Ukraine more than $123 billion—of which the U.S. alone committed more than $77 billion—between January 2022 and 2023. 

On Friday Biden was set to meet remotely with other Group of Seven (G-7) leaders “to continue coordinating our efforts to support Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for its war,” according to the White House. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Monday that his country would play host to the on-line G-7 summit, and that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would also join the meeting.

During that same announcement by Kishida, Japan committed its own addition $5.5 billion in funding to Ukraine—a nearly five-fold increase over its previous commitments.

In a statement marking one year since the Russians invaded, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that noting the symbolic date is an opportunity for all who believe in freedom “to recommit ourselves to supporting Ukraine’s brave defenders for the long haul—and to recall that the stakes of Russia’s war stretch far beyond Ukraine.”

Just days after Austin had traveled to Ukraine to meet with Zelensky back in April, Austin had launched a now-monthly meeting of defense ministers and defense chiefs to ensure momentum for Ukrainian support continued. The most recent meeting was in Brussels last week. The meetings have often ended in announcements by international allies to provide increasingly lethal weapons systems to Ukraine, including tanks, armored vehicles, air-defense systems and artillery systems.

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