US reveals more military aid for Ukraine
The US announced on Tuesday that it will send additional anti-tank missile systems to Ukraine. Washington will supply Kiev with an additional $100 million worth of anti-armor systems, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
“I have authorized … the immediate drawdown of security assistance valued at up to $100 million to meet Ukraine’s urgent need for additional anti-armor systems,” Blinken said in a statement.
According to Blinken, this additional funding brings the total amount of US security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian military campaign in late February to more than $1.7 billion. He added that the US and its allies will continue to “strengthen Ukraine’s position on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.”
A day before, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby explained that the US will continue to send shoulder-fired Javelin anti-tank systems, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, and drones.
Blinken’s statement came after Ukraine accused Russia of committing war crimes in the town of Bucha, northwest of the capital Kiev after Russian troops withdrew from the area last week. Moscow denied the allegations and said Ukraine and its foreign backers were waging a disinformation campaign against its military operation.
Western countries have been supplying Ukraine with anti-tank and air defense missiles but rejected Kiev’s pleas to deliver heavier weapons and aircraft. NATO also refused to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine, fearing an open war with Russia.
Moscow attacked the neighboring state following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of those regions within the Ukrainian state.
Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO, a US-led military bloc. Kiev says the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.