On Monday, the Pentagon announced a $125 million military aid package for Ukraine. The $125 million package includes two armed Mark VI patrol boats, giving Ukraine a total of eight such vessels provided by the US.
The Pentagon said the package also includes “capabilities to enhance the lethality, command and control, and situational awareness of Ukraine’s forces.” This means additional counter-artillery radars, other tactical equipment, continued support for satellite systems, and some medical equipment.
This package is the first part of the $275 million approved by Congress for Ukraine in the 2021 fiscal year. As per the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, the additional $150 million is contingent on Ukraine reforming its military. The Pentagon said it will work with the State Department to certify “that Ukraine has made sufficient progress on key defense reforms this year.”
Since the 2014 US-backed coup in Ukraine that sparked the war in the eastern Donbas region, the US has provided Kyiv with $2 billion in military aid. Despite the controversy around President Trump and aid to Ukraine, he took a step the Obama administration was not willing to take and sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Kyiv.
Last week, President Biden released a statement on the seventh anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and said the US would “never” accept Russian sovereignty over the peninsula. He said the US “will stand with Ukraine against Russia’s aggressive acts.”
Like the war in the Donbas, the annexation of Crimea was also sparked by the US-backed coup in Kyiv. The largely ethnic Russian populations of Crimea and Donbas rejected the nationalist post-coup government in Kyiv, and the majority of Crimeans favored joining Russia.