US announces new $200m military aid package for Ukraine

The United States has announced a new military aid package for Ukraine worth $200 million, as the Ukrainian troops are struggling to penetrate heavy Russian fortifications as part of their so-called counteroffensive.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Monday that the package included artillery rounds and dozens of tactical vehicles and mine-clearing gear.

“Today we are announcing the next package of security assistance to aid Ukraine… This package, which is valued at $200 million, is being executed from previously authorized Presidential Drawdown Authority, includes air defense munitions, artillery rounds, anti-armor capabilities, and additional mine-clearing equipment,” Blinken said.

Military aid provided through Presidential Drawdown Authority includes equipment from existing US Department of Defense (DoD) inventories instead of purchases from contractors.

The package also includes additional artillery and tank ammunition, munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and Patriot air defense systems, TOW missiles and tactical vehicles, the US Department of Defense said in a statement on Monday.

The new weapons mark the 44th round of assistance since the conflict with Russia broke out last year.

The new package comes as Ukrainian forces scramble to penetrate powerful Russian defenses erected across a 600-mile (1,000km) frontline.

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