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13 Jun, 2023 11:15

Pentagon will replace destroyed Ukrainian armor – US state media

A new $325 million military assistance package will reportedly be announced at an upcoming NATO meeting
Pentagon will replace destroyed Ukrainian armor – US state media

The Pentagon will announce on Tuesday a new presidential drawdown of its stockpiles in support of Ukraine’s fight against Russia, Voice of America has reported, citing anonymous officials.

The $325 million worth of equipment will include Stryker and Bradley armored vehicles that “can replace those damaged and destroyed in the Ukrainian counteroffensive currently underway,” defense sources told the US government-funded outlet on Monday.

The upcoming aid package is set to become the 40th of its kind since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict started in February 2022. Washington has allocated over $100 billion for Ukraine-related spending, including some $40 billion in direct assistance.

In addition to new armored vehicles, the new package will include munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), the sources said.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley are visiting Brussels this week to attend a series of NATO meetings. One of the gatherings will be of the so-called Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a key vehicle for coordinating weapons supplies to Kiev by Washington and its allies.

Last week, the Pentagon announced the allocation of an additional $2.1 billion in weaponry for Ukraine, though the hardware in that package must be manufactured rather than drawn from American stockpiles.

Bloomberg suggested that it may take months or years before the weapons, which come under the banner of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, are contracted by the department.

Last week, Kiev launched its long-expected counteroffensive, pitting its Western-provided tanks and other weapons against Russian defensive positions. So far the thrust has been largely unsuccessful and costly, a fact acknowledged even by some media outlets sympathetic to Ukraine.

Moscow perceives the conflict as part of a US-led proxy war against Russia. It has warned that flooding Ukraine with weapons simply increases the cost of the war but will not alter its outcome.