The US first aided Ukraine with heavy artillery

President Biden announced a $800 million military aid package for Ukraine, including helicopters and heavy artillery.

US President Joe Biden yesterday announced an additional aid package worth $800 million to Ukraine, bringing the total value of Washington’s military aid to Kiev to more than $2.5 billion. The information came after a phone call between the White House boss and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The support package includes 11 Mi-17 multi-purpose helicopters, which were prepared to be transferred to Afghanistan before the Taliban took power, 18 155 mm heavy artillery pieces with 40,000 rounds of artillery shells, anti-aircraft radars, and 200 armored vehicles. and 300 Switchblade light unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This is the first time the US has provided artillery to Ukraine.

The US M777 howitzer deployed in Germany in 2021. Photo: US Army.

The US M777 howitzer deployed in Germany in 2021. Photo: US Army.

“We cannot stop. I have assured President Zelensky that the American people will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine in the war,” Biden said in a statement.

The aid package will be funded under the Presidential Drawing Right (PDA), which allows the White House boss to approve a plan to transfer military equipment and services from the US payroll without congressional approval.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Ukrainian troops will have to learn to use some systems such as artillery and radar, because they are not used to operating US weapons. “We understand the urgency and understand that time is not on our side,” he said.

The flashpoints of fighting in eastern Ukraine.  Graphics: NY Times.  Click to see details.

The flashpoints of fighting in eastern Ukraine. Click on the photo to see details.

After more than a month of launching a special military operation to “demilitarize and de-fascist Ukraine”, Russia withdrew its forces around the capital Kiev and the city of Chernihiv to focus on the Donbass region. According to the Pentagon, Russia is in the process of consolidating and adding forces to prepare for a new operation in eastern Ukraine.

The southern port city of Mariupol remains one of the fiercest fighting points. The Russian Defense Ministry yesterday announced that 1,026 soldiers of the 36th Marine Brigade of Ukraine voluntarily laid down their weapons and surrendered.

Petro Andriuschenko, an adviser to the Mayor of Mariupol, denied this, adding that Ukrainian forces still control some areas of the city.

Vu Anh (According to Reuters)

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