Biden announces new $700 million in military aid for Ukraine

Jun 1, 2022: According to a report by Reuters, U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday a new $700 million weapons package for Ukraine that will include high mobility artillery rocket systems, which can accurately hit targets as far away as 80 km.

Biden announced the plan to give Ukraine precision HIMARS rocket systems after receiving assurances from Kyiv that it would not use them to hit targets inside of Russian territory. Biden imposed the condition to try to avoid escalating the Ukraine war.

The longer range rockets Ukraine was seeking could have had a 300-mile range – well beyond howitzer rounds. The rockets that the Biden administration has agreed to have a shorter range than the Soviet-era rockets which Ukraine currently has in short supply.

According to Jonathan Finer, deputy White House national security adviser, there are significant targets Ukrainians cannot reach with the weapons they currently have, Finer said, and the rocket system will make a big difference in the conflict in the southeast of the country, where Russian forces are currently focused.

Beside the rockets, the new package includes ammunition, counter fire radars, a number of air surveillance radars, additional Javelin anti-tank missiles, as well as anti-armor weapons, officials said.

Ukrainian officials have been asking allies for longer-range missile systems in the hopes of turning the tide in the war, which is in its fourth month.

Russia said the United States was adding fuel to the fire by supplying Ukraine with advanced rockets. Finer said Biden had warned Russian President Vladimir Putin directly, and publicly, what the consequences of any Ukraine invasion would be.

“We are doing exactly what we said we would do,” Finer said. “Russia has brought this on itself by launching an invasion into a sovereign country from its territory.”

As the United States and its allies provide Ukraine with increasingly sophisticated arms, Washington has held discussions with Kyiv about the danger of escalation if it strikes deep inside Russia.

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