U.S. officials said on Tuesday that the Biden administration was sending up to $400 million in additional military aid to Ukraine, including artillery, air defenses and mine-clearing equipment, in an effort to help replenish Kyiv’s forces as their counteroffensive grinds on.
Included in the package drawn from Pentagon stockpiles are several Stryker armored personnel carriers, mine-clearing equipment and munitions for Patriot antimissile systems and National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, or NASAMS, the officials said.
The package also includes munitions for Stinger antiaircraft systems and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, as well as munitions for Javelin and other anti-tank weapons.
The latest military aid comes as Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the country’s southeast advances more slowly than expected through dense Russian minefields and other defenses. Russia has also recently launched some of the war’s most ferocious attacks on Odesa, a Ukrainian port city, after the Kremlin pulled out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, an agreement that allowed for the export of Ukrainian grain by sea.
Earlier on Tuesday, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine called on Western allies to supply more air defense equipment and other military aid after Russian attacks hit Odesa’s cultural sites and port infrastructure.
“We must defend Odesa,” Mr. Zelensky said in a Twitter post after speaking to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain, adding: “Ukraine urgently needs to strengthen its air defense to protect its historical heritage and continue the Black Sea Grain Initiative.”
The new American assistance package brings the total amount of U.S. military aid delivered or committed to Ukraine to $43 billion since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.