US to send $3 billion in aid to Ukraine as war hits six months

US security assistance shifts to longer-term campaign that will likely keep more American military troops in Europe

Lolita C. Baldor
Wednesday 24 August 2022 07:57 BST
Related video: Russian paratrooper condemns war in Ukraine

The US is set to provide an additional $3 billion in aid to help train and equip Ukrainian forces as Russia’s war hits six months.

The package, expected to be announced on Wednesday, marks a shift to a longer-term campaign that will likely keep more American military troops in Europe into the future, US officials said.

It will be announced on the day Vladimir Putin’s war hits the six-month mark and Ukraine celebrates its independence day.

The money will fund contracts for drones, weapons and other equipment that may not see the battlefront for a year or two, US officials said.

The total of the aid package — which is being provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative — could change overnight, but not likely by much. Several officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the aid before its public release.

Ukraine is celebrating its independence day on Wednesday
Ukraine is celebrating its independence day on Wednesday (Handour)

Unlike most previous packages, the new funding is largely aimed at helping Ukraine secure its medium- to long-term defense posture, according to officials familiar with the matter.

Earlier shipments, most of them done under Presidential Drawdown Authority, have focused on Ukraine’s more immediate needs for weapons and ammunition and involved material that the Pentagon already has in stock that can be shipped in short order.

In addition to providing longer-term assistance that Ukraine can use for potential future defense needs, the new package is intended to reassure Ukrainian officials that the United States intends to keep up its support, regardless of the day-to-day back and forth of the conflict, the officials said.

Meanwhile, addressing Ukrainians in a speech to mark 31 years of the county’s independence, president Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine was reborn when Russia invaded on 24 February. He added that Ukraine would recapture annexed Crimea and occupied areas in the east.

In the recorded speech, Mr Zelensky said that Ukraine no longer saw the war ending when there was peace, but when Kyiv was victorious.

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