US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced further security support for Ukraine during his visit to Kyiv on November 20. This military aid indicates the United States’ commitment to assist Ukraine with the capabilities it requires to protect the country from Russian aggression.
This is the Biden Administration’s fifty-first tranche of equipment to be sent to Ukraine from DoD inventory beginning in August 2021.
This package includes additional air defense capabilities, artillery ammunition, anti-tank weaponry, and other equipment to assist Ukraine in defending its sovereign territory and fighting for its independence in the face of Russia’s continuous aggression.
Details of Austin’s visit to Ukraine
US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin arrived in Kyiv on an unannounced visit on November 20 and made a video address in the centre of the Ukrainian capital. Lloyd Austin posted the video on his page on the social network X.
“I came to Kyiv today with an important message – the United States stands with Ukraine, and we are going to be with them for the long haul.” the US defense secretary signed the address.
Lloyd Austin said he had just completed a day of healthy discussion with Ukrainian leaders and sent an important message: The United States stands with Ukraine and will continue to support Kyiv.
During his visit, Llyod met with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to reaffirm the US’ unwavering support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian Defence Minister to discuss Ukraine’s counteroffensive operations and future force requirements.
According to Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustam Umerov’s media account, they also discussed Ukraine’s road to NATO membership.
What does the new US military aid package for Ukraine include?
According to the US DoD report, the aid package includes one HIMARS multiple launch rocket system and additional ammunition, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, 155-mm and 105-mm artillery shells, TOW anti-tank missiles, Javelin, and AT-4 anti-tank systems.
Ukraine will also receive over three million rounds of ammunition for small arms, ammunition for clearing obstacles, winter gear and spare parts, maintenance, and other support equipment.
The Pentagon emphasized that military assistance to Ukraine is a “wise investment in our national security” and called on Congress to approve the additional funding requested by the White House so that the US can continue to provide it.
Aside from securing Ukrainian confidence in the US’s continued assistance, Pentagon officials want Ukrainian leaders to advise them on “how Russian strategy is developing and how it will change in the Winter season.”
Russian invaders’ forces are expected to exploit the cold season to attack and attempt to destroy Ukrainian energy and civilian infrastructure, similar to the strategy used last winter.
This unexpected Lloyd Austin visit and the newly announced aid package reflect the intention to continue supporting Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invaders and play an essential role in advancing the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian military and saving the lives of civilians from Russian missile and drone attacks.