October 3, 2023

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War between Russia and Ukraine: Blinken says US will provide $2 billion in additional aid

War between Russia and Ukraine: Blinken says US will provide $2 billion in additional aid
attributed to him…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken, during a visit to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, on Thursday said he would tell Congress that the United States intends to send another $2 billion in long-term military support to Ukraine and 18 other countries that are at risk of Russian invasion.

Separately, President Biden has approved an additional $675 million in military support for Ukraine, Defense Secretary Lloyd J.

The combined total is $13.5 billion in aid to Ukraine from the Biden administration since the Russian invasion in February.

Mr. Blinken’s visit to Kyiv was his second since the start of the Russian invasion. In the afternoon, wander the dark, sandy-windowed corridors of Ukraine’s presidential administration building to meet with the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Mr Blinkin told the Ukrainian leader that Ukraine’s recently announced counterattack represented a “pivotal moment” in the war with Russia, and that the military operation “proved effective”.

The State Department has not publicly disclosed Mr. Blinken’s travel in advance for security reasons.

His visit comes as Mr. Austin met Allied defense ministers at a monthly meeting of the Ukraine Contact Group, which aims to coordinate the flow of military aid to Ukraine. The arrival of Western equipment, particularly HIMARS long-range missile systems, has enabled Ukrainian forces to attack Russian military infrastructure behind the front lines and support a counteroffensive in the south—although some military experts argue that aid so far is insufficient to decisively turn the war in Ukraine’s favour.

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“Ukrainian forces have begun their counterattack in the south of their country, and they are integrating the capabilities we have all provided to help themselves fight back and reclaim their sovereign territory,” Mr. Austin said at the start of the meeting. At Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.

“This contact group needs to be positioned to support the brave defenders of Ukraine for the long term,” he said. “This means a continuous and determined flow of ability now.”

Russian forces are struggling to seize new territory, but are showing no sign of backing down from the invasion, which has claimed tens of thousands of casualties on both sides, according to US estimates, and left vast swathes of eastern and southern Ukraine in ruins. Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin He gave a defiant speech that covered the heavy losses of the war and the faltering performance of his army, and declared before an economic conference in the Far East of Russia: “We have nothing to lose and nothing to lose.”

In Germany, Mr. Austin said the new package of weapons included HARM air-launched missiles designed to search for and destroy Russia’s air defense radar; Guided Multiple Launch Missile Systems, commonly known as GMLRS; howitzers and other artillery; Armored ambulances and small arms.

The State Department said the $2 billion package, which will be withdrawn from the fund pools Already authorized by Congress But the allocation, which must be approved by Congress, will be roughly divided in half between Ukraine and 18 other countries. They are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

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The State Department said the money will be used to “build current and future capabilities” of Ukraine’s armed forces and those of other countries, including by strengthening their electronic and hybrid warfare capabilities, specifically to counter Russian aggression.

The money will also help integrate non-NATO members into the alliance’s military forces.

On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Blinkin also met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Earlier today, he visited the US embassy and a children’s hospital treating children injured in the Russian attacks.

Mr. Blinken was also introduced in hospital to Patron, a Jack Russell terrier who Ukrainian forces owe helping to discover hundreds of Russian landmines. Mr. Blinken declared the dog “world-famous”.