On Tuesday the Biden administration announced it will send another $250 million in ammunition and weapons to Ukraine as part of its ongoing support for the counteroffensive by Ukraine.
According to the State Department, weapons bill are drawn from existing stockpiles including artillery, rocket rounds, mine-clearing equipment, medical gear and ambulances, spare parts, and other items.
“The packages will help Ukrainian forces on the battlefield and support its air defenses as Russia continues to launch brutal, brutal strikes against the people of Ukraine, including attacks this past week,” said Karine Jean-Pierre, White House spokeswoman, on Tuesday.
The State Department said the package contained AIM-9M missiles for air defense, 155mm, 105mm artillery ammunition, more than three million rounds of small arms ammunition, and High Mobility Artillery Rocket System munitions.
The United States would have already run out of funding for the year to provide additional stockpile equipment to Ukraine; however, earlier this year, it realized the Pentagon had overvalued the equipment that had already been sent, which freed up an additional $6.2 billion in funding.
Ukraine has already received over $43 billion from the U.S. since Russia invaded them last year. Those funds have provided weapons systems including millions of rounds of ammunition and howitzers to fight back against the much bigger Russian military. Because of the bloody and intense land war, now in its 18th month, much of the weaponry and ammunition has already been used up.
“Artillery, missiles, ammunition for HIMARS, demining equipment — that’s what our warriors need. Freedom needs protection, and this protection is growing strong,” tweeted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday.
Funding comes from $6.2 billion the Pentagon recently “discovered” due to an accounting error
New aid funding comes from $6.2 billion the Pentagon recently discovered due to an accounting error. In May, military officials uncovered the error and said it gave the Pentagon extra funds to ship equipment and weapons to Ukraine. The aid announced on Tuesday is the second time the Pentagon has dipped into those funds, after an August 14 $200 million package. The assistance comes during a counteroffensive by Ukrainian troops against Russian forces in several parts of the country’s eastern region to recover occupied territory.
On August 10, President Joe Biden requested Congress approve $24 billion in emergency funding as the last round of funding, around $45 billion, is set to expire at the end of September. Because of the recalculation by the Pentagon, the $6.2 billion would still be available to use after September 30, the end of the fiscal year.
“We’re confident we will have enough money to meet Ukraine’s needs through the fiscal year and we’re hopeful that Congress will approve a supplemental package for Ukraine,” said Sabrina Singh, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary.
This is the 45th time the United States has provided weapons through the presidential drawdown authority, which means they will be sent quickly on an emergency basis and come directly from Pentagon stocks. Aid given this way typically means it will reach Ukraine in a few weeks.