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The Biden administration is set to send an additional $250 million worth of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine to help in its ongoing fight against Russia. This military aid package will utilize presidential drawdown authority (PDA), which means the weapons will be taken from existing U.S. stockpiles and quickly transported to Ukraine. This marks the 45th drawdown of equipment from U.S. stocks to Ukraine since August 2021. The package includes various types of missiles, ammunition, mine-clearing equipment, anti-armor systems, small arms ammunition, medical vehicles, and demolition munitions. The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, stated that this package will support Ukrainian forces on the battlefield and enhance their air defenses against Russia’s brutal attacks.
The funding for this $250 million package comes from an “accounting error” that was revealed in June. The Pentagon had overcounted the value of the weapons it sent to Ukraine over the past two years by $6.2 billion. The error occurred because the actual value of the weapons pulled from the stockpile wasn’t counted; instead, the value of replacing those weapons was used. Newly produced weapons are typically more expensive than the old ones they replace. This accounting error freed up an additional $6.2 billion in funding for Ukraine.
With this latest package, the United States has provided Ukraine with over $43 billion worth of military assistance since Russia’s invasion in February 2022. The military assistance has been provided through the PDA and the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). The USAI, established in 2015 in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, enables the United States to procure weapons through external defense companies. However, packages sent via USAI take longer to arrive compared to the PDA, which delivers within weeks.
These funds have supplied Ukraine with weapons systems and ammunition to fight back against the larger Russian military. Much of the ammunition and weaponry have already been used in the ongoing 18-month land war. The Biden administration expressed confidence that it will have enough funding to meet Ukraine’s needs for the fiscal year. However, a supplemental package for Ukraine has been requested, and they hope that the Congress will approve it.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement supporting continued aid to Ukraine, condemning Russia’s brutal war of conquest and emphasizing solidarity with Ukraine until the conflict ends. The update on the Ukraine-Russia war states that although Ukraine has faced challenges in its summer ground operations, it has made advances into Russian territory, including the recent assault on the Kremlin. Russia accused Ukraine of targeting Russian regions in a significant drone attack, while Ukraine reported casualties in a combined attack by Russia using missiles and drones in Kyiv.