US announces new half-billion dollar aid package for Ukraine

US announces new half-billion dollar aid package for Ukraine

Latest tranche includes Stinger anti-air systems, Patriot and HIMARS ammunition, armored personnel carriers

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - The US announced Tuesday a new $500 million military aid package for Ukraine as Kyiv's forces pursue a counteroffensive to oust Russia from occupied territories.

The latest tranche includes additional ammunition for Patriot air defense systems that are already in Ukraine, man portable Stinger anti-air systems, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) ammunition, 30 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, 25 Stryker Armored Personnel Carriers, anti-armor systems and High-speed Anti-radiation missiles (HARMs).

"As President Biden told President Zelenskyy on Sunday, we continue to support Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity from Russian aggression," White House spokesperson Olivia Dalton told reporters, referring to Joe Biden and Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The package also includes more than 22 million rounds of small arms ammunition, thermal and night vision devices, Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles, spare parts and precision aerial munitions.

The announcement comes ahead of next month's convening of NATO leaders in Lithuania. Multiple US officials have forecasted major announcements of material support for Ukraine during the summit.

Ukraine has received substantial economic, humanitarian, diplomatic and defensive military assistance from the US and its Western allies since Russia began its war in February 2022.

Ukraine claimed Monday that its forces achieved tactical successes after making advances against Russia, liberating 130 square kilometers (50 square miles) of territory since the start of its counteroffensive earlier this month.

Independent confirmation of those claims and counterclaims is difficult due to the ongoing war.

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