First U.S. Weapons Shipment Anticipated to Reach Ukraine Within Days

The U.S. is set to rapidly deliver a $60 billion military aid package to Ukraine, including air defense missiles and artillery ammunition, as Ukraine faces ammunition shortages and Russia's artillery advantage.

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Rizwan Shah
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First U.S. Weapons Shipment Anticipated to Reach Ukraine Within Days

First U.S. Weapons Shipment Anticipated to Reach Ukraine Within Days

The first U.S. weapons shipment is anticipated to reach Ukraine within days of the military aid agreement being approved by Congress, according to Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder. The $60 billion aid package, passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday, will provide Ukraine with much-needed air defense missiles, artillery ammunition, and other defense systems.

The decision to resume military assistance has been greeted with relief and appreciation across Ukraine. "The aid package will offer much-needed munitions like artillery shells that could start arriving relatively quickly," said a Ukrainian lieutenant commanding an artillery unit relying on American-provided M777 howitzers and other big guns. Ukrainian citizens took to social media to offer thanks and express joy over the approval of the aid.

Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder stated that the U.S. has a "robust logistics network" to quickly move these materials to the Ukrainian border. The Pentagon has had equipment and munitions ready to send for months, but has been limited by a lack of funding from Congress. Once the aid package is approved by the Senate and signed by President Biden, the military can draw from its stockpiles in the U.S. and Europe to rapidly deliver critical weapons and supplies.

Why this matters: The aid package is vital as Ukraine faces ammunition shortages and Russia's significant advantage in artillery firepower. Top U.S. military officials have warned that any delay in providing support could result in significant territorial losses and devastating casualties for Ukrainian forces.

More than a third of the $60.84 billion in aid to Ukraine will be used to replenish U.S. weapons and ammunition systems that have been transferred to Ukraine. The bill also includes a provision that allows the U.S. president to transfer seized Russian assets to Ukraine, potentially providing up to $8 billion in additional funding.

Western leaders, including NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, have praised the aid package, while the Kremlin has criticized it as further ruining Ukraine and causing more deaths. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the aid as vital support for his country's war effort against Russia's invasion.

The U.S. has already spent over $44 billion on weapons, maintenance, training, and spare parts for Ukraine since Russia's invasion in February 2022. The Pentagon has several large weapons storage facilities, such as the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in Oklahoma, that can quickly surge shipments of munitions like 155mm howitzer rounds to Ukraine. "The Pentagon stands ready to rush crucial supplies to Ukraine after clearance from Congress. We can move the materials within days," said Pentagon Press Secretary Patrick Ryder.

Key Takeaways

  • $60B military aid package approved by US House, awaits Senate approval.
  • Aid to provide Ukraine with air defense missiles, artillery ammunition, other defense systems.
  • Pentagon has equipment and munitions ready to rapidly deliver to Ukraine's border.
  • Aid vital as Ukraine faces ammunition shortages, Russia's artillery advantage.
  • Over $44B in US military aid to Ukraine since Russia's invasion in 2022.