While the Ukrainian military continues to push hard with its counteroffensive in the Donbas and Zaporizhzhia, the United States is sending additional military aid to Kyiv.
Worth up to $325 million, the latest package of military aid is looking to plenish the Ukrainian arsenal and replace casualties. In total, the U.S. has committed more than $40 billion in security aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began.
M2 Bradleys and Millions of Bullets
The latest package of military aid is focused on the needs of the Ukrainian counteroffensive.
The military aid coming from the U.S. includes additional anti-aircraft missiles for the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAM), FIM-92 Stinger shouldered-fired anti-aircraft missiles, ammunition for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), artillery shells for 155mm howitzers, FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles, TOW anti-armor missiles, AT-4 anti-tank missiles, demolition charges to clear obstacles, secure tactical communication systems and support equipment, and spare parts for existing weapon systems and vehicles.
But the latest package of security aid contained two types of weapon systems to replace casualties suffered in the counteroffensive. The U.S. is sending an additional 15 M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and 10 M-1126 Stryker armored personnel carriers.
The Russian forces are putting up a stiff resistance, resulting in Ukrainian casualties. Last week, during an attempt to break the Russian defensive lines in Zaporizhzhia, the Ukrainian military lost several M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and a couple of Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks. Footage from the ground suggests that the Russian forces took out the Ukrainian tanks and armored personnel carriers with a combination of anti-tank mines, anti-tank weapons, drones, and artillery. However, and this is the key part, the armored vehicles protected their precious crews, who managed to pull back from the battlefield. At the end of the day, weapon systems are easier to replace than trained and battle-hardened troops.
This is the 40th package of security aid since August 2021, the third in June, and the second since the Ukrainian military launched its counteroffensive a little over a week ago. The weapon systems and munitions will come from the Pentagon’s stocks and thus be available soon to the Ukrainian forces fighting on the ground.
More Security Aid on the Horizon
But the latest package of military coming from the U.S. won’t be the last. Ukraine’s partners are meeting this week to discuss additional support for Kyiv and its counteroffensive in Donbas and the southern part of the country.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III met with NATO partners in Brussels on Thursday to discuss further security aid to Kyiv during a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group. As such, Secretary Austin spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov just recently to discuss the Ukrainian military’s needs and the counteroffensive’s progress. On his part, the Ukrainian defense minister provided an update on the situation on the ground and the progress of the counteroffensive.
A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.