On Thursday, President Biden announced another $1.3 billion in aid for Ukraine. Of that amount, $800 million will go towards a new weapons package, and $500 million will go directly to the Ukrainian government for economic assistance.
The $800 million in military aid includes howitzers, artillery rounds, vehicles to tow the howitzers, and new drones specifically developed for Ukraine, known as Ghost drones, which the Pentagon says have similar capabilities to the Switchblade drones it has been providing to Kyiv.
According to the Pentagon, the package includes:
- 72 155mm Howitzers and 144,000 artillery rounds;
- 72 Tactical Vehicles to tow 155mm Howitzers;
- Over 121 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems; and
- Field equipment and spare parts.
The new package brings the total military aid pledged by the Biden administration for Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24 to a whopping $3.4 billion. Including direct economic assistance given to Ukraine, the total aid climbs to $4.4 billion.
The US first started sending howitzers to Ukraine as part of a separate military aid package that was announced last week. The providing of heavy artillery marks an escalation in US aid for Ukraine. The Pentagon said the US has begun training Ukrainian forces on how to use the howitzers in an undisclosed location outside of Ukraine.
The US and its NATO allies continue to pour weapons into Ukraine despite warnings from Russia to stop. On top of the military aid, the Western powers are also escalating sanctions against Russia and are digging in to isolate Russia for the long term.