Zelensky Thanks Biden for ‘Another $725 Million Security Aid Package’

Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has personally thanked U.S. President Joe Biden for supplying Kyiv with another “security aid package” worth $725 million.

“Sincerely grateful to [the President of the United States and] the [American] people for providing another $725 mln security aid package,” the Ukrainian head of state said in a message posted on the Twitter microblogging site.

“We will receive, in particular, much-needed rounds for HIMARS and artillery,” he added.

“A wonderful gift for [Ukrainian] Defenders’ Day! The Russian aggressor will be defeated, [Ukraine] will be free!”

HIMARS, more properly the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, is reported to have been something of a gamechanger on the Ukrainian battlefield, allowing Ukrainain forces to at least partly overcome what had been a significant artillery disadvantage versus the Russians and strike targets including munitions dumps well behind enemy lines.

The Wall Street Journal, which was permitted to embed with a HIMARS unit, reported earlier in October that HIMARS was “responsible for 70 per cent of military advances on the Kherson front”, citing unit commander Lt. Valentyn Koval — but the claim has not been independently verified.

Kherson, a region north of the Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, fell to Russian forces in the early stages of their all-out invasion in February, a rare point of relative success compared to the failed offensive out of Belarus toward Kyiv (Kiev) and their later grinding, now faltering efforts in Donbas. It was formally annexed to the Russian Federation along with three other occupied regions at the end of September following largely unrecognised referendums. 

Now, a Ukrainian counter-offensive is threatening to drive Russia out of much of Kherson, with Russian-backed officials in the regional capital, also called Kherson, moving to evacuate residents to Russia proper before the Ukrainians can arrive.

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