The Biden administration is pulling the trigger on sending anti-tank weapons and air defense systems into Ukraine in order assist in repelling any potential Russian invasion. Further the White House has "notified Congress it intends to send five Mi-17 Transport Helicopters to Ukraine, officials Say," according to The Wall Street Journal.
But this weapons transfer will not be done directly, instead, it will be facilitated through third party allies - namely Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. The proposed plan for some further limited military assistance to Ukraine was revealed earlier this week, but as of Thursday afternoon the administration has authorized it.
CBS News is also reporting that "U.S. officials confirmed to CBS News that the Biden administration had given permission to several NATO allies to send emergency shipments of U.S.-made weapons — including anti-tank missiles — to Ukraine to reinforce the country's defenses."
The report details, coming just a day after Biden said it was his "guess" that Putin is preparing to "move in" to Ukraine, that—
State Department sources said allies including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the U.K. were cleared to make "Third Party Transfers" of U.S.-made and supplied equipment to Ukraine, which one official described as part of a race "to get as much gear to the Ukrainians as quickly as possible."
Up to this point it's remained unclear the degree to which the administration might authorize any level of a military response. For years the US has already supplied Ukraine's army with military equipment, and has even had limited numbers of special forces in the country training Ukrainian counterpart forces.
Earlier this week UK's Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced a arms shipments for Ukraine, which have been reported ongoing over a period of a last three days on a series of military flights to Kiev...
Here's a time-lapse of all of the United Kingdom to #Ukraine weapons airlift flights from the morning of the 17th of January to this very minute on the 19th of January 2022. The UK has no intention of letting Ukraine fall. pic.twitter.com/p4DcNv25mt— George Allison (@geoallison) January 19, 2022
With Biden now giving the green light on Baltic allies to also begin pouring more weapons into the simmering Donbass conflict, pushing tensions between Moscow and NATO further to the brink, Europe could be closer to seeing the outbreak of all-out war on its periphery. Russia will certainly see this new arms build-up on the Ukrainian side of the border a major provocation, possibly violating its "red lines" regarding NATO presence in Ukraine.