WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is sending an additional $400 million in munitions and generators to Ukraine, the White House announced Wednesday, pulling the equipment from its own stockpiles in a bid to get support to Kyiv as soon as possible Russia continues to target Ukraine’s energy sources and winter is coming.
Including recent aid, the US has provided more than $19 billion in arms and other equipment to Ukraine since Russia attacked on February 24. It stocks and quickly ships to Ukraine.
The latest package includes 200 generators, an undisclosed number of additional cartridges for both the NASAMS advanced air defense systems and the HIMARS artillery systems that the US supplied to Ukraine, 150 heavy machine guns with thermal imaging sights for shooting down drones, 10,000 120- mm mortar shells and, among other things, 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition, the Pentagon said.
In the ninth month of intense firefighting in Ukraine, both sides have fired thousands of rounds of ammunition every day, ranging from small arms bullets to truck-sized cruise missiles. In a sign of how intense the ground fighting has been, the US has so far shipped 104 million rounds of small arms ammunition to Ukraine.
“In the face of Russia’s relentless and brutal missile and (drone) attacks on Ukraine’s critical energy infrastructure, additional air defense capabilities remain an urgent priority,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “The additional ammunition for NASAMS and heavy machine guns will help Ukraine counter these urgent threats.”
However, the continued arms rush to Kyiv raises questions about how long the US and its partner countries can continue the fight without compromising their own military readiness. Many European nations have already declared that they have pushed any surplus they can afford send.
Last week, the Pentagon’s top arms buyer, Bill LaPlante, traveled to Brussels to meet with officials from 45 partner nations and discuss some of Ukraine’s top priorities, including more air defense systems and long-range weapons. They discussed coordinating efforts to keep arms flowing by identifying the capabilities of their individual defense industrial bases and the supply chain and manufacturing constraints they face, the Pentagon said in a statement.
The gun flow comes as the Biden administration seeks to hand over another $37 billion in military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine during the post-election session of Congress before Republicans take control of the House of Representatives in January. Some Republican members, including potential speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have questioned the amount of money being spent on Ukraine.
Follow AP’s coverage of Russia’s war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.