US pumping more money into Ukraine's war effort

China Daily
Huang Panyue
2022-04-14 20:29:47

Photo taken on Nov 23, 2021 shows the White House in Washington, DC, the United States. [Photo/Xinhua]

The United States is funneling hundreds of millions of dollars more in military assistance to Ukraine that includes "new capabilities", in an apparent escalation of the conflict in Eastern Europe.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced an additional $800 million in support and expanded the scope of the weapons systems provided.

The US tab for military aid to Ukraine, which is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), now stands at $2.6 billion.

The latest installment includes artillery systems, armored personnel carriers and unmanned coastal defense vessels.

"This new package of assistance will contain many of the highly effective weapons systems we have already provided and new capabilities tailored to the wider assault we expect Russia to launch in eastern Ukraine," Biden said in a statement.

The package, according to the Pentagon, includes 11 Mi-17 helicopters that had been earmarked for Afghanistan before the US-backed government collapsed last August, and 18 155mm howitzers, along with counter-artillery radars and 200 armored personnel carriers. It is the first time the US has provided howitzers to Ukraine.

Also included are 40,000 artillery rounds, two air surveillance radars, 300 Switchblade "kamikaze" armed drones and an additional 500 Javelin missiles designed to take out tanks and other armor.

The expanded range of the equipment is giving the conflict, which started on Feb 24, an air of a proxy war between the US and Russia.

Dr Ron Paul, a former US congressman and presidential candidate, wrote Wednesday that "it sure seems like the Biden Administration is doing all it can to prolong the war in Ukraine. Sending weapons that have little chance of making a big difference in the outcome only keeps the fighting and killing going strong, and the Administration has shown no interest in pushing a quick diplomatic end to the war".

"On the contrary, Biden openly calling for regime change and a war crimes trial makes diplomacy nearly impossible. Why prolong the fighting?" Paul wrote on the website's blog.

"US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan gave us a hint, when he told NBC News over the weekend that the US wants 'a weakened and isolated Russia'," Paul said.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday that some of the military equipment, like the howitzers and radars, will require training for Ukrainian forces.

"We're aware of the clock and we know time is not our friend," Kirby said when asked about the timetable for the deliveries.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, in an interview published Wednesday on, said that regular contact with the US was not possible due to "Washington's unabashed support for militaristic intentions of the Kiev regime [and] the pouring of modern weapons" into the country.

"We are warning that American-NATO transports carrying weapons across the Ukrainian territory are considered legitimate military targets," he added.

Ryabkov said that Western economic sanctions on Russia failed to achieve their objective and that Washington "is irritated by our calm focus on the tasks of stabilizing the economy and ensuring its sustained functioning in the environment of unprecedented foreign pressure".

On March 18, Zhao Lijian, spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, said of previous American military assistance to Ukraine: "Will the latest US assistance of weapons bring stability and security to Ukraine or cause more civilian casualties? Which do the civilians in Ukraine need more, food and sleeping bags or machine guns and mortar rounds? It won't be difficult for anyone in his right mind with a shred of common sense to make the right call."

The latest US aid will be funded using Presidential Drawdown Authority, in which the president can authorize the transfer of articles and services from US stocks without congressional approval in response to a deemed emergency.

John Spencer, a retired US Army major and expert on urban warfare at the Madison Policy Forum think tank, said he was pleased to see that the White House was sending artillery and artillery rounds. "You need these bigger, more powerful weapons ... to match what Russia is bringing to try to take eastern Ukraine," Spencer told Reuters.

"War is a chaotic universe of military strategies intertwined with inhumanity, violations, uncertainty, doubts, and deceit," wrote Antonio De Lauri, a contributor to the Costs of War Project of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, on

Also on Wednesday, executives from US weapons makers met with Pentagon officials to discuss the industrial challenges in the event of a protracted conflict in Ukraine. Scheduled to attend were executives from BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Huntington Ingalls Industries, L3Harris Technologies, Boeing, Raytheon Technologies and Northrop Grumman.

Russia said it had taken control of the port in Mariupol and that more than 1,000 Ukrainian marines had surrendered in the southeastern Ukrainian city.

Reuters contributed to this story.


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