WASHINGTON – Days after Russia’s humiliating journey through northeastern Ukraine, the Biden administration on Thursday said it would send an additional $600 million in military supplies to Ukraine, including more artillery shells.
The new shipment – which will also include counter-attack radars, counter-attack systems and demining equipment – continues the Pentagon’s recent trend of sending large amounts of ammunition that Ukraine needs to make deliveries. heavyweight competition in the south, east and northeast of the country.
The latest drawdown of military goods from the Pentagon’s stockpile – the 21st since the invasion began in February – was announced just hours after Russian President Vladimir V. Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, organize. first face-to-face meeting since the war beganamid signs that Moscow lacks the full support of its most powerful international ally following Ukraine’s staggering return to the northeast of the country.
“We are providing weapons and equipment that Ukrainian forces are using very effectively as they continue their successful counter-offensive against the Russian aggression,” Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said in a statement. . “President Biden has made it clear that we will support the Ukrainian people in their time of need.”
Notably, this shipment does not include the Army Tactical Missile System MGM-140, or ATACMS, a long-range guided missile that can hit targets up to 190 km away.
Since the successful Ukrainian offensive, President Volodymyr Zelensky has extended an ATACMS request from President Biden, but has so far been denied. Instead, the Pentagon provided thousands of satellite-guided missiles and 16 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers, or HIMARS, to fire them. Those missiles hit more than 400 Russian ammunition depots, command posts and radars.
HIMARS can carry six guided missiles at once, each of which can hit targets as far as nearly 50 miles away – a range that Pentagon officials say covers the majority of intended targets. of Ukraine. For comparison, a HIMARS launcher can carry only one of the larger ATACMS missiles at a time before needing to be reloaded.
The new shipment also includes additional HIMARS guided missiles, as well as 36,000 rounds for the 105 mm cannon and 1,000 precision-guided 155 mm rounds, according to a Pentagon statement. Both of these weapons systems have become staples of Ukraine’s Western-supplied arsenal against Russia.
The United States has now committed $15.1 billion in military aid to Ukraine since the invasion — more than 40% of which has come in the past six weeks.
U.S. and Ukrainian officials say the Pentagon’s weekly or biweekly notifications of new arms and ammunition shipments from U.S. depots has given Kyiv senior commanders confidence in planning for the next war. complex simultaneous attacks, such as at Kherson in the south and near Kharkiv in the northeast.
These operations were discussed in a phone call Thursday between Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, and General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his colleagues. their Ukrainian level, according to a statement from General Milley’s office that provided no other details.