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U.S. Aid Reaching Ukraine as Russia Attacks Near Kharkiv

A soldier sits in a tank among rows of tanks in a sandy area.
Bradley Lineup
A stevedore sits in a Bradley fighting vehicle before loading it onto the ARC Wallenius Wilhemsen vehicle carrier at the Transportation Core Dock in North Charleston, S.C., Jan. 25, 2023. The shipment of Bradleys was part of the U.S. military aid package to Ukraine.
Photo By: Oz Suguitan, U.S. Transportation Command
VIRIN: 230125-F-SK383-1112A

U.S. military aid is reaching Ukraine as that nation's military strives to blunt Russian attacks in the Kharkiv region, said Sabrina Singh, deputy Pentagon press secretary. 

The Russian attacks on Kharkiv were not unexpected, Singh said today, and Ukrainian service members are fighting furiously to blunt the Russian incursions. 

U.S. systems are again reaching Ukrainian service members after Congress approved a budget supplemental aid package on April 24. President Joe Biden announced a $1 billion assistance package at that time to meet Ukraine's critical security needs. On Friday, the United States announced another tranche of $400 million in aid.  

The most recent package provides military capabilities to support Ukraine's most urgent battlefield requirements, including air defense, artillery rounds, armored vehicles and antitank weapons, Singh said. 

The Russian attacks in the Kharkiv region have made some gains. "We know that they've intensified some of those cross-border fires, and they'll likely, in the coming weeks, increase that," she said. "That's why we're doing everything we can to make sure Ukraine has what it needs." 

Three people sit at a table. Behind them are U.S. and Ukrainian flags, and a sign that reads "The Pentagon."
News Conference
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and Celeste A. Wallander, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs host a virtual meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, March 26, 2024.
Photo By: Chad J. McNeeley, DOD
VIRIN: 240426-D-TT977-1326

She said the U.S. aid is getting to Ukraine quickly, noting that the Defense Department had pre-positioned aid in advance of Congressional approval of the supplemental aid package. "When the supplemental was passed, we were able to flow that assistance right in," Singh said. "But, of course, Ukraine is in a real fight, and they're fighting every single day. And they're doing it bravely. We've seen them [be] able to hold territory, and we've seen them able to push the Russians back." 

"The Russians have launched a very aggressive offensive, but we believe that Ukrainians continue to prove themselves on the battlefield," she said.  

The delay in passing the supplemental aid package did have an effect on the battlefield. News reports from Ukraine noted that Ukrainian service members had to ration ammunition to front-line outfits. Ukrainian forces did lose some territory to Russia in Eastern Ukraine.  

This could have been worse, but European allies stepped forward to supply Ukraine with what it needed. "During the time that we weren't able to provide a supplemental, our European allies and partners … were still providing artillery or defenses that the Ukrainians needed," Singh said.

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