Biden Administration Announces $2 Billion in Military Aid to Ukraine on One-Year Mark

biden tanks
iStock, SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration announced Friday it would give another $2 billion in military aid to Ukraine as its war with Russia officially hits the one-year mark, bringing the total amount of American military assistance to over $30 billion in one year.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement:

“The United States has rallied the world to support Ukraine and hold Russia accountable. Under President Biden’s leadership, the United States has committed more than $32 billion in gamechanging security assistance to Ukraine over the past year.

Austin detailed support includes more than 1,600 Stinger anti-aircraft systems; more than 8,500 Javelin anti-armor systems; 232 howitzers and more than two million rounds of artillery ammunition; 38 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and ammunition; a Patriot air-defense battery; eight National Advanced Surface-toAir Missile Systems (NASAMS) and other key air-defense capabilities; 109 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles; 31 Abrams tanks; and 90 Stryker Armored Personnel Carriers.

“We have done all this with bipartisan backing in Congress and with the proud support of the American people,” Austin said.

An additional $20 billion in security assistance has been committed by other allies and partners, he added.

File/Pallets of 155 mm shells ultimately bound for Ukraine are loaded by the 436th Aerial Port Squadron, Friday, April 29, 2022, at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.  (Alex Brandon, File/AP)

The new $2 billion package of military assistance will not come from the U.S. military’s own stocks, as with much of previous aid, but will be purchased directly from defense contractors for Ukraine, from a fund the U.S. set up known as the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).

The Department of Defense said in a statement that the latest package is geared towards drones and counter-drone and electronic warfare detection equipment, as well as “critical” ammunition stocks for artillery and precision fires capabilities.

It includes:

• Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);
• Additional 155mm artillery rounds;
• Munitions for laser-guided rocket systems;
• CyberLux K8 UAS;
• Switchblade 600 UAS;
• Altius-600 UAS;
• Jump 20 UAS;
• Counter-UAS and electronic warfare detection equipment;
• Mine clearing equipment;
• Secure communications support equipment; and
• Funding for training, maintenance, and sustainment.

“The United States will continue to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with capabilities to meet its immediate battlefield needs and longer-term security assistance requirements for as long as it takes,” the DOD said.

Austin also sounded a rallying call to “recommit” to supporting Ukraine “for the long haul,” arguing that the stakes stretched far beyond Ukraine.

In response to the most urgent danger to European security since the end of World War II, we have moved swiftly with our allies to further unify and strengthen NATO. The Alliance has bolstered its defenses on the Eastern Flank. Meanwhile, the United States has deployed or extended more than 20,000 additional U.S. forces to Europe and forward-stationed the first permanent U.S. forces on NATO’s Eastern Flank. NATO is more united than ever, and the U.S. commitment to defend every inch of allied territory remains ironclad.

One year into a war of aggression waged by a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, our allies and partners worldwide stand united and resolute. Putin’s reckless, illegal war is not just an all-out assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and a historic threat to European security. It is also a direct attack on the system of rules, institutions, and laws that the world built at such great cost after World War II—a system that rejects aggression and respects the rights of all countries, big and small.

Putin thought that Ukraine’s defenses would collapse, that America’s resolve would falter, and that the world would look the other way. He was wrong. One year later, Ukraine’s brave defenders have not wavered, and neither has our commitment to support them for as long as it takes.

“Difficult times may lie ahead, but let us remain clear-eyed about what is at stake in Ukraine. And let us remain united in purpose and in action—and steadfast in our commitment to ensure that a world of rules and rights is not replaced by one of tyranny and turmoil,” he said.

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