The Pentagon announced for the first time that it would support the delivery of tanks to Ukraine, part of a $400 million military aid package, as well as a budget to upgrade armored vehicles, drones and anti-aircraft missiles.
The additional military, ground and air capabilities of Ukraine’s forces come despite Russian airstrikes, including Iranian-supplied drones, as Ukrainian forces press ahead with an offensive to retake the southern city of Kersen.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked NATO to provide tanks in the first weeks of the Russian invasion, which began on February 24.
on friday Ukraine tweeted. “Thank you [President Biden] And people [the United States] A military aid package for another $400.
The weapons package includes 90 refurbished T-72 tanks, all imported from the Czech Republic. Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said the United States would pay for 45 to be renovated, and the Netherlands would pay for 45 to be renovated.
The T-72s mark the first tank delivery from US funds since the start of the war in Ukraine, and some of the vehicles are expected to arrive by the end of December, Singh said.
Despite Russia’s efforts, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Ukraine is “rising” in the south.
“There’s some more progress by the Ukrainians in the south and actually in the northeast as well as they continue to try to push the Russian lines further back,” he said.
Kirby added that Russian lines are “mostly static and deep” and echoed observations about Russian military activity and civilian displacement in the Kherson area. This may indicate preparation for the coming war.
Some of the $400 million will go to manufacturers to upgrade the Hawk air defense missiles, deliveries of which are expected to be announced during the upcoming presidential cutoff of military aid to Ukraine, Kirby said.
“We’re going to spend the money to get these HAWK divers back up to code, and we’re going to get them to Ukraine by the next presidential election. It is an example of evolving to meet needs,” he said.
Also included in the package are 250 M1117 armored security vehicles and 1,100 new Phoenix Ghost drones, although Singh “doesn’t have an exact timetable for when this next batch will arrive”.
Kirby added that the administration would continue to work with Congress to maintain military, financial and economic support for Ukraine amid opposition from a minority of Republicans to sending US dollars to Kyiv.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, the US has provided more than $18 billion in military aid. The US Agency for International Development has provided $9.88 billion in development and humanitarian assistance.
But the American public’s support for providing aid to Ukraine is increasing, according to a poll published by The Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper found that while 57 percent of Americans support aid to Ukraine, only 35 percent of Republicans do, and 81 percent of Democrats. Among independents, 45 percent support giving aid to Ukraine.
Some Republican lawmakers have warned they will scrutinize or veto aid to Ukraine if they win a majority in Congress following the midterm elections.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Green (R-Ga) said at a rally held by former President Trump in Sioux City, Iowa last Thursday that “not another dime will go to Ukraine” if Republicans regain control of Congress.
And House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said the GOP-led House was unlikely to write a “blank check” to Ukraine.
Republicans who hold the national security and foreign policy portfolios on Capitol Hill told The Hill that support remains strong among the GOP to provide the military and economic aid needed to prosecute the war against Russia in Ukraine.
And senators from both parties visited Kiev this week to highlight the commitment of both Republicans and Democrats.
Ellen Mitchell contributed to this report.