Biden Admin Sends Ukraine Another $2.1B in Military Aid Citing 'Unwavering Support,' Zelensky Says Thanks

AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool

On Friday, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced more American taxpayer money will go to the war in Ukraine. The Biden administration is sending off $2.1 billion, allotted for a “new security package” for America’s “unwavering support for Ukraine.” The package is said to include “critical air defense and ammunition capabilities” for Ukraine.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked President Joe Biden on Twitter, writing:

Thank you @POTUS for the $2.1 billion security assistance package. We appreciate the strong leadership support of [Ukrainian flag] in our fight against Russian aggression from the [American flag] people. Amid unprecedented [Russian flag] terror and ecocide due to the explosion of the Kakhovka HPP, this is more important than ever. Step by step we are getting closer to the liberation of [Ukrainian flag] land!

Last month, the total of U.S. foreign aid sent to Ukraine, earmarked as humanitarian, financial, and military support was reported to be $75 billion since the start of the war. 

Per a fact sheet provided by the DoD, “security assistance” has totaled more than $40 billion under Biden’s tenure, and $39.7 billion of that came after the Ukrainian-Russian conflict began in February of last year. According to the State Department, much of that military assistance is accomplished through a mechanism called, “the emergency Presidential Drawdown Authority,” which they had used thirty-seven times, as of last month, to funnel tens of billions of dollars to Ukrainian military operations. A military drawdown is a transfer of U.S. military equipment and resources. The statutory authority is found in section 506(a)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA).

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The Dept. of State wrote:

Pursuant to a delegation by the President, we have used the emergency Presidential Drawdown Authority on thirty-seven occasions since August 2021 to provide Ukraine approximately $21.1 billion in military assistance directly from DoD stockpiles.

But, the newly announced multi-billion dollar package is not being provided under the drawdown authority and instead is coming through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). The DoD describes the initiative as :

The USAI is an authority under which the United States procures capabilities from industry or partners. This announcement represents the beginning of a contracting process to provide additional priority capabilities to Ukraine.

So, instead of sourcing from U.S. military stockpiles, it looks like the U.S. will be funding new contracts for Ukraine.

The USAI is described as providing support for Ukraine’s defensive training, military equipment, and advisory services. A Congressional report updated in February revealed that in Fiscal year 2022, appropriations also directed that USAI funds be provided for logistics support, supplies, and services; salaries and stipends; sustainment; weapons replacement; and intelligence support. The USAI is actively involved in countering Russian cyberattacks by supporting cyber defense and strategic communications.

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DoD’s press release:

Today, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced a new security assistance package, underscoring the unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine. This package, which totals up to $2.1 billion and includes critical air defense and ammunition capabilities, is being provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).

This USAI package illustrates the continued commitment to both Ukraine’s critical near-term capabilities as well as the enduring capacity of Ukraine’s Armed Forces to defend its territory and deter Russian aggression over the long term.

Unlike Presidential Drawdown authority, which DoD has continued to leverage to deliver equipment to Ukraine from DoD stocks at a historic pace, USAI is an authority under which the United States procures capabilities from industry or partners. This announcement represents the beginning of a contracting process to provide additional priority capabilities to Ukraine.

The capabilities in this announcement include:

  • Additional munitions for Patriot air defense systems;
  • HAWK air defense systems and missiles;
  • 105mm and 203mm artillery rounds;
  • Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems;
  • Laser-guided rocket system munitions;
  • 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.

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Read More: 

Nord Stream 2: Biden Admin Knew of Ukrainian Military Covert Plan to Sabotage Pipeline

Ukraine’s Nova Kakhovka Dam Is Blown up Unleashing Widespread Flooding

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