Posted on Aug 02, 2022
The U.S. is to send $550 million in new lethal aid for Ukraine, including ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and 155mm artillery, as lawmakers and Ukrainian officials alike push for more.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley spoke together with their Ukrainian counterparts to inform them of the new package, the White House said in a statement.
Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman is among lawmakers who have been pressing the Biden administration to step up lethal aid, saying Ukrainian HIMARS strikes have degraded Russia’s war effort significantly.
Ukraine has 16 HIMARs, which have proved effective in repelling Russian forces in the east. The Ukrainians want additional air defence support, as well more HIMARs and fighter jets. The country needs 50 HIMARs to start retaking Russian-held territory, Ukrainian officials have said.
Ukraine’s Olena Zelenska reiterated this request when she gave a speech to Congress last month, marking the first time that a first lady from another state addressed lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
“I’m asking for air defence systems in order for rockets not to kill children in their strollers,” Zelenska said.
The advanced rocket systems have a range of 80 kilometres, enabling the Ukrainians to hit the Russian positions from beyond the reach of most of the enemy’s artillery, and to strike logistics and command and control nodes.
Monday’s announcement came after Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said four more HIMARS had arrived in the country.
“We have proven to be smart operators of this weapon,” Reznikov said in a tweet. “The sound of the #HIMARS volley has become a top hit of this summer at the front lines!”
Follow EU Today on Social media: