U.S. $300 Million Security Package to Ukraine Explained – After U.S. President Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday that some $500 million in aid will be distributed to the Ukrainian people, the U.S. government announced on Friday that an additional $300 million worth of military hardware and weapons will also be delivered to the country to help ensure Russian troops continue retreating to the north and the east.
As well as $500 million in “direct budgetary aid,” the United States also announced this week that as many as 100,000 Ukrainian refugees will be allowed to enter the United States, with the most vulnerable being given priority. The White House also pledged an additional $1 billion in additional funding that will go toward humanitarian work.
The latest package, however, is purely military.
What Does the New Package Include?
The United States fulfills much of a wish list from the Ukrainian government – though falls short in some areas.
A press release issued by the Department of Defense on April 1 describes how the department notified Congress of “additional assistance activities under authority provided by the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.”
The press release lists the following hardware and weapons that will be delivered to Ukraine:
– Laser-guided rocket systems;
– Switchblade Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems;
– Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems;
– Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems;
– Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles;
– Small-to-large caliber nonstandard ammunition;
– Night vision devices, thermal imagery systems, and optics;
– Tactical secure communications systems;
– Non-standard machine guns;
– Commercial satellite imagery services;
– Medical supplies, field equipment, and spare parts.
Including this new aid package, the United States has committed a total of $1.6 billion in aid since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, and $2.3 billion since President Joe Biden entered the White House.
Switchblade suicide drones, also known as “kamikaze” drones, are unmanned drones that explode on impact. The drones are single-use, small enough to fit into a backpack and use guidance systems and cameras to deliver explosives to chosen targets.
What Wasn’t Included?
This new package will not draw weaponry from the government as it falls under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. Instead, the supplies will come from private industry.
It means that the Biden administration has had an easier time explaining why it chose not to supply aircraft to Ukraine, despite multiple requests from the Ukrainian government and President Zelenskyy himself.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.