US Offers Another $1.2 Billion In Arms To Ukraine – OpEd

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The United States, which has maintained uninterrupted supplies of arms to Ukraine, announced on May 9 the delivery of another package amounting to a hefty $1.2 billion.

The new package provided under a Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) is aimed at bolstering Ukraine’s air defenses and sustaining its artillery ammunition needs, according to the US Department of Defense (DoD).

This USAI package, DoD said, underscores the continued U.S. commitment to meeting Ukraine’s most urgent requirements by committing critical near-term capabilities, such as air defense systems and munitions, while also building the capacity of Ukraine’s Armed Forces to defend its territory and deter Russian aggression over the long term.

This includes committing additional 155mm artillery rounds and sustainment support to enable Ukraine to better maintain its on-hand systems and equipment.

According to DoD, the capabilities in this package include:

  • Additional air defense systems and munitions;
  • Equipment to integrate Western air defense launchers, missiles, and radars with Ukraine’s air defense systems;
  • Ammunition for counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems;
  • 155mm artillery rounds;
  • Commercial satellite imagery services;
  • Support for training, maintenance, and sustainment activities.

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.

According to a report in the New York Times last February, the total amount of US humanitarian, financial and military aid approved for Ukraine has risen to a staggering $113 billion.

But still, it has been never enough, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky keeps asking for “more, more, more—and faster, faster, faster.”

Asked how much longer this would continue—and perhaps reach $200 billion or $300 billion over the years, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said: “This is going to have to go on as long as it takes for Ukraine to defend itself and for Russia to stop its aggression against Ukraine”.

A Fact Sheet from the US State Department provides a long list of American weapons to Ukraine, including: 20 Mi-17 helicopters; 31 Abrams tanks; 45 T-72B tanks; 109 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles; Over 1,600 Stinger anti-aircraft systems; Over 8,500 Javelin anti-armor systems;

Additionally, over 54,000 other anti-armor systems and munitions; Over 700 Switchblade tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems; 160 155mm Howitzers and over 1,000,000 155mm artillery rounds; Over 6,000 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds;

Over 13,000 grenade launchers and small arms; Over 100,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition; Over 75,000 sets of body armor and helmets; and approximately 1,800 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems. []

The Western European states have collectively pledged over $50 billion in financial aid, and played host to more than eight million refugees from Ukraine.

As of September 2022, nearly 50 allies and partner countries have provided security assistance to Ukraine.  

Meanwhile, there are no visible signs of any moves towards resolving the crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

During a visit to Ukraine in March, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: ”This is my third visit to Ukraine in less than a year. My third visit to show our full commitment and to seek solutions.”  

“The position of the United Nations, which I have consistently expressed, is crystal clear: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a violation of the UN Charter and international law,” he noted .   

The sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine must be upheld, within its internationally recognized borders, he added.

“Our ultimate objective is equally clear: a just peace based on the UN Charter, international law and the recent General Assembly resolution marking one year since the start of the war.”  

“Until that just peace can be secured, we continue working hard to mitigate the impacts of the conflict which has caused enormous suffering for the Ukrainian people—with profound global implications.” 

The United Nations has stayed on the ground delivering desperately needed humanitarian aid to millions in Ukraine, Guterres declared.

The United Nations has stayed on the ground delivering desperately needed humanitarian aid to millions here in Ukraine.

The United Nations also worked to help evacuate civilians trapped in the Azovstal steel plant.

Meanwhile, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been fully mobilized to try and preserve the safety and security of nuclear power plants in Ukraine, including in Zaporizhzhia. 

Thalif Deen

Thalif Deen, author of the book “No Comment – and Don’t Quote Me on That,” is Editor-at-Large at the Berlin-based IDN, an ex-UN staffer and a former member of the Sri Lanka delegation to the UN General Assembly sessions. A Fulbright scholar with a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Columbia University, New York, he shared the gold medal twice (2012-2013) for excellence in UN reporting awarded by the UN Correspondents Association (UNCA).

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