Mon. Dec 4th, 2023

Washington announces aid of $100M to ; l’Ukraine | War in Ukraine

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American military aid will take the form of anti-aircraft defense. (Archive photo)

Agence France-Presse

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Washington announced new aid $100 million military package for Ukraine, including air defense assets, on the day of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's visit to Kiev.

This new aid comes from funds already approved by the American Congress, but which are dwindling pending the vote of a new budget envelope for Ukraine requested by President Joe Biden.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The said envelope remains pending due to opposition from elected Republican officials.

It includes Himars systems, artillery munitions and anti-tank weapons, as well as small caliber munitions, according to press releases from the Pentagon and the State Department.

Lloyd Austin assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of Washington's continued support in the face of the Russian invasion.

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The United States is by far the main supplier of military aid to Kiev, and a reduction in its support, ardently demanded by some Republican elected officials, would harm a hard blow to Ukrainian efforts to liberate the occupied south and east of the country.

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US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's visit served to reaffirm US support for Ukraine.

The message I bring to you today, Mr. President, is that the United States is with you and will be with you for a long time, Lloyd Austin said during a meeting with the head of the ;Ukrainian state.

Together with our allies and partners, we will continue to support Ukraine's urgent needs on the battlefield and its long-term defense requirements, he added on X. He was also scheduled to speak with his Ukrainian counterpart, Roustem Oumerov, and the commander of the armed forces, Valery Zalouzhny.

Mr. Zelensky called the Pentagon chief's visit a very important signal. We are counting on your support, he said.

Ukraine is working to ensure the continuation of the European and American assistance, while in the West, voices are being raised to demand a reduction in this support, after almost two years of war.

In addition, with the international community having its eyes fixed on the war between Israel and Hamas, Kiev wants to prevent the support received so far from diminishing.

The arrival of Mr. Austin comes at a time when in the United States, in the Republican camp, voices are being raised against the dozens of billion in aid to Ukraine released by the Democratic government of Joe Biden.

Western support is all the more crucial for Ukraine as its summer counter-offensive to liberate the occupied territories has largely failed. /p>Open in full screen mode

The Biden government is keen to assure Ukraine of its support with another large loan. (File photo)

Russia went on the offensive again in the east in October, and Kiev says that Moscow also intends to resume its winter bombing campaign to plunge millions of Ukrainians into the cold and the dark. .

Each day continues to bring its litany of deaths and injuries.

In Kherson, a large southern city shelled by the Russian army, the bombing of a parking lot left two dead and two injured, according to the regional administration.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">In Nikopol, an 83-year-old woman was killed and a 53-year-old man was injured by artillery fire, according to authorities.

Near Kherson, one of the important axes of the Ukrainian counter-offensive where Kiev's troops managed to gain a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, occupied by the Russians, Ukrainian forces continue to hold, said the Ukrainian general staff.

In the east, the Russian army continues its attempts to surround Avdiïvka, an industrial city in the Donetsk region targeted in recent weeks by intense attacks, according to the same source.

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The inhabitants of the town of Avdiïvka have been suffering Russian attacks for several weeks. (Archive photo)

For Ukraine, Western aid, particularly American, is essential to confront a Russia which turned its budget and its economy towards the war effort.

Some American legislators from the Republican camp, however, are opposed to the continuation of aid, which fuels doubt about the scale and sustainability of American support in the months to come. A new extension was thus excluded from a budget agreement adopted by Congress last week.

In addition to internal political opposition in the United States in pursuit of aid, the conflict between Israel and Hamas distracts attention from Ukraine.

Receiving on Thursday a group of media, including AFP, Volodymyr Zelensky affirmed that the fighting in the Gaza Strip had resulted in a slowdown in deliveries of artillery shells of caliber 155 mm.

However, Washington says it is able to provide assistance to both the Ukrainians and the Israelis.


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