UNITED STATES NEWS

Pentagon set to send $1 billion in new military aid to Ukraine once Biden signs bill

Apr 23, 2024, 10:05 AM | Updated: 7:02 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is poised to send $1 billion in new military aid to Ukraine, U.S. officials said Tuesday as the Senate moved ahead on long-awaited legislation to fund the weapons Kyiv desperately needs to stall gains being made by Russian forces in the war.

The decision comes after months of frustration, as bitterly divided members of Congress deadlocked over the funding, forcing House Speaker Mike Johnson to cobble together a bipartisan coalition to pass the bill. The $95 billion foreign aid package, including billions for Israel and Taiwan, passed the House on Saturday, and the Senate approved it Tuesday. President Joe Biden said he would sign it Wednesday.

The votes are the result of weeks of high-voltage debate, including threats from Johnson’s hard-right faction to oust him as speaker. About $61 billion of the aid is for Ukraine.

The package includes an array of ammunition, including air defense munitions and large amounts of artillery rounds that are much in demand by Ukrainian forces, as well as armored vehicles and other weapons. The U.S. officials said some of the weapons will be delivered very quickly to the battlefront — at times within days — but it could take longer for other items to arrive. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the aid had not yet been publicly announced.

Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, would not confirm the package or details, but said the U.S. has a robust logistical system in place, built over the past two years of weapons’ deliveries to Ukraine, and is “doing everything we can to be poised to respond quickly” once the bill is signed. He said the U.S. has storehouses of military equipment in Europe and — as it’s done in the past — can tap those to get aid into Ukraine within days.

America’s infusion of weapons comes on the heels of an announcement by the U.K. on Tuesday, pledging an additional $620 million in new military supplies for Ukraine, including long-range missiles and 4 million rounds of ammunition.

The announcement reflects Biden’s promise Monday in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the U.S. would send the badly needed air defense weapons once the Senate approved the bill. Zelensky said in a posting on X, formerly Twitter, that Biden also assured him that a coming package of aid would include long-range and artillery capabilities.

The latest tranche of weapons will be provided through presidential drawdown authority, or PDA, which pulls systems and munitions from existing U.S. stockpiles and sends them quickly to the war front. Some of the munitions are already in Europe, so could move within days to Ukrainian forces.

Last week, an array of U.S. leaders described how urgently Ukraine needs the infusion of aid. Without it, said CIA Director Bill Burns, Ukraine could lose the war to Russia by the end of this year. And Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told House members that conditions on the battlefield were shifting and Russian forces were making incremental gains.

Gen. CQ Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, bluntly describe the situation to the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, saying Ukraine is facing ” dire battlefield conditions.” Desperate Ukrainian troops are rationing or running out of ammunition on the front lines.

During a virtual meeting last Friday of defense ministers in the NATO-Ukraine Council, Austin underscored the need for “immediate, concerted action” on air defense weapons for Kyiv, the Pentagon said. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Zelenskyy attended the meeting, along with other NATO allies.

Pentagon leaders were preparing to meet with defense officials from Europe and around the world on Friday to discuss international aid for Ukraine. The gathering — created by Austin and known as the Ukraine Defense Contact Group — has been meeting about monthly for the past two years, but in recent sessions officials have expressed growing consternation over the U.S. gridlock.

More than $20 billion in the aid bill is earmarked to replenish U.S. military stocks that have been depleted because they were sent to Ukraine.

Since Russia’s February 2022 invasion, the U.S. has sent more than $44 billion worth of weapons, maintenance, training and spare parts to Ukraine. For the bulk of that time, the aid packages were moving routinely every few weeks. But the money was drying up by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. And by mid-December, the Pentagon said it had run out of money and had to stop sending weapons because, without the funding package stalled in Congress, it could no longer afford to replace them.

The $1 billion package was first reported by Reuters.

United States News

Associated Press

California county’s farm bureau sues over state monitoring of groundwater

HANFORD, Calif. (AP) — A lawsuit has been filed over California’s decision to take over monitoring groundwater use in part of the fertile San Joaquin Valley under a landmark law aimed at protecting the vital resource. The Kings County Farm Bureau and two landowners filed a lawsuit last week over a decision by the State […]

3 minutes ago

Associated Press

Judge rules Ohio law that keeps cities from banning flavored tobacco is unconstitutional

An Ohio law prohibiting cities from banning the sale of flavored tobacco products is unconstitutional, a judge has ruled. The state is expected to appeal the ruling issued Friday by Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Serrott, who had issued a temporary restraining order in April that stopped the law from taking effect. The […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

University of California academic workers strike to stand up for pro-Palestinian protesters

SANTA CRUZ, California (AP) — Graduate students at the University of California, Santa Cruz walked off their jobs and went on strike Monday, the first campus to do so as part of a systemwide protest against a public university they say has violated the speech rights of pro-Palestinian advocates. United Auto Workers Local 4811 represents […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

NYC mayor defends police response after videos show officers punching pro-Palestinian protesters

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams defended the police department’s response to a pro-Palestinian street demonstration in Brooklyn over the weekend, calling video of officers repeatedly punching men laying prone on the ground an “isolated incident.” “Look at that entire incident,” Adams said on the “Mornings on 1” program on the […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Investigators return to Long Island home of Gilgo Beach serial killing suspect

MASSAPEQUA PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Investigators returned Monday to the home of a New York architect charged in a string of slayings known as the Gilgo Beach killings. State and county police vehicles were seen outside Rex Heuermann’s single-family home in Massapequa Park on Long Island before 9 a.m. Spokespersons for the New York State […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Four people killed in a house explosion in southwestern Missouri

GOODHOPE, Mo. (AP) — Four people in rural Missouri died when an explosion that could be heard 10 miles (6.2 kilometers) away occurred at a house. The explosion happened Saturday night near the unincorporated town of Goodhope. Douglas County Sheriff Chris Degase said the home was undergoing renovations and a propane leak was found. The […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Pentagon set to send $1 billion in new military aid to Ukraine once Biden signs bill