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Ukraine Grateful for U.S. Military Assistance, Welcomes More

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III welcomed Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to the Pentagon in an enhanced honor cordon ceremony today. 

Three soldiers tend to a parked helicopter.
Maintenance Check
Soldiers assigned to 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division conduct daily preventive maintenance on an AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter at a forward arming and refueling point, Miroslawiec, Poland, April 4, 2022.
Photo By: Army Spc. Hedil Hernández, National Guard
VIRIN: 220404-Z-XV469-1011

Shmyhal thanked the United States for its generous military support. 

"Your support helps us to stand our ground and push the enemy back, and in doing so, to save the lives of our military and civilians," the prime minister said, noting that Russian aggression has been directed mostly at civilians. 

The prime minister mentioned Russia's new phase in the war as it shells eastern and southern Ukraine with airstrikes and long-range fires. 

"There is no doubt that we will win this fight," he said. But to end it sooner, more powerful and modern weapons are needed. 

An airman stands near a jet.
F-15E Strike Eagle
A U.S. Air Force airman assigned to the 492nd Fighter Squadron from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, prepares an F-15E Strike Eagle for takeoff at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 5, 2022. The U.S., Cyprus, France, Israel, Romania, Italy, Slovenia, Austria and Canada supported and participated in INIOCHOS 22, an operational and tactical level training exercise hosted by the Hellenic Air Tactics Center at Greece’s fighter weapons school.
Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Malissa Lott
VIRIN: 220405-F-SZ127-0104C

"We need a continuous supply of firepower," he said, listing long-range fires, artillery, multiple launch rocket systems and other systems. 

"Such weapons would give us a big advantage," he said. 

"Our most recent packages are tailored to provide the capabilities that will let you and your people counter Russia's changing tactics and to meet the renewed and reckless offensive that Russian forces are launching in the Donbas," Austin said.  

A lot of what's in those packages, the secretary said, are 155 mm howitzers, counter-artillery radars, armored vehicles and armed unmanned aerial systems. 

Jets fly in formation.
Formation Flight
Two U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, fly alongside two Romanian F-16s over nearby Fetesti, Romania, March 14, 2022.
Photo By: Air Force Senior Airman Ali Stewart
VIRIN: 220314-F-FW957-0001C

Austin noted that since 2021, the U.S. has committed over $4 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, including $800 million more just announced today. 

"The United States will continue to support Ukraine's urgent requirements for today's battles and tomorrow's victory," he said. 

"I know what painful days these are for Ukraine. Your people are suffering terribly after Russia's cruel and unjust invasion. But the world has been inspired by your courage as you fight for your independence and for your democracy. And you do not stand alone. … The United States stands firmly in solidarity with Ukraine's armed forces and its people," Austin said. 

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