Another Monday, and another massive military aid package for Ukraine approved by the Biden administration - this time with a price tag just over half-a-billion dollars.
"The United States is greenlighting another military assistance package to Ukraine, sending $550 million in ammunition for advanced rocket systems and other equipment to the country to fight the Russian invasion," The Hill reports of the approved transfer. Ukraine's President Zelensky was quick to thank the White House, curiously adding this brings the Ukrainian forces "closer to victory".
Thank you @POTUS for your leadership, robust support of 🇺🇦 and understanding that 🇷🇺 is a threat to entire civilized world. Together we are defending values of freedom common to both 🇺🇦 & 🇺🇸. New defense assistance package is bringing us closer to victory— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) August 1, 2022
The package is expected to include more ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, as well as mortar resupplies, including an estimated 75,000 rounds for 155 mm artillery.
For those keeping count, that's north of $8 billion in total US assistance to Ukraine spread over the course of 17 packages so far since the Feb.24 Russian invasion.
Zelensky and his top officials have continued to press for more, and longer-range systems, even as Russia has claimed to have taken out multiple HIMARS systems and rockets in strikes on depots. Kiev has disputes this, and currently it's believed at least a dozen to 16 HIMARS are active near the front lines based on the latest known Pentagon transfers.
There are few things more certain than Ukraine weapons packages these days. https://t.co/FQNrWFmwun— Idrees Ali (@idreesali114) August 1, 2022
On Monday Zelensky in a speech to the nation declared that "Strategically, Russia has no chance of winning this war." He followed with:
"And it is necessary to hold on, so that even at the tactical levels, the terrorist state feels its defeat," the president said. "No matter what happens and no matter what the occupiers’ plans are, we must do our job, protect our state and take care of each other."
"The more effective we are in this — all of us, all citizens of Ukraine — the faster we will achieve victory," he added.
But in recent weeks there's been growing consensus even from Ukraine's backers that Russia continues swallowing up significant swathes of territory across the Donbas.
Meanwhile, Ukraine officials continue to press the West for more, more, and more weapons and billions of dollars of equipment...
We received more equipment from our partners. 🇩🇪G#erman rocket launchers MARS II have arrived in #Ukraine. 🇺🇸 the #USA also transferred four additional #HIMARS.— Rustem Umerov (@rustem_umerov) August 1, 2022
The key to victory on the battlefield is more heavy weapons and equipment! Thanks! pic.twitter.com/EwEyXReWDc