According to US officials, the United States plans to send Ukraine about $1.2 billion in long-term military aid to help the country defend itself against a barrage of drone, rocket and surface-to-air missile attacks since from Russia
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that the aid package will likely be announced on Tuesday and the money will be provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.
With this latest package, the US will have provided Ukraine with nearly $37 billion in military aid since Russia invaded in late February 2022.
But unlike other equipment, weapons and ammunition already shipped from Pentagon stockpiles, the latest package is intended to be spent over the next few months or even years to ensure the future security needs of ‘Ukraine.
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The assistance initiative will fund HAWK air defense systems, air defense munitions and air defense drones. It will also buy artillery, rockets, satellite imagery assistance and funding for ongoing maintenance and spare parts for various systems, officials said.
Polls in March showed support for more military aid to Ukraine falling slowly and steadily in the United States, defying President Biden’s pledge to support the regime for “as long as it takes.”
Polls by the Associated Press, Pew Research and Fox News show growing skepticism toward the massive aid packages the Biden administration has made a habit of handing out to Ukraine. Support for such aid among Americans fell from 60% in May 2022 to just 48% today, according to the AP.
According to Pew, the share of Americans who say the US has already given too much to Ukraine has risen from 7% in March 2022 to 26% today.
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Ukraine, meanwhile, is preparing to launch a spring offensive against Russian forces, with air defense a persistent problem.
Ukraine’s air defenses shot down 35 Iranian-made drones over Kiev in Russia’s latest overnight assault, officials said Monday. Debris from one drone struck a two-story apartment building in Kiev’s western Svyatoshynskyi district, while other debris struck a car parked nearby and set it on fire, Kyiv’s mayor said. Vitali Klitschko, in a Telegram post.
Russian shelling of 127 targets in northern, southern and eastern Ukraine killed three civilians, the Ukrainian defense ministry said.
Faced with economic sanctions and limits on its supply chains due to its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has routinely turned to Iran’s Shahed drones to bolster its firepower. And US aid packages, which include weapons and more immediate military support, have included systems to shoot down and otherwise defeat drones.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.