Pentagon Sending More Assistance for Ukraine; Total Hits $6.9 Billion

The U.S. Department of Defense on Friday announced $820 million in additional security assistance is being sent to Ukraine to help in its war against Russia.

The weapons and funds package brings the total amount of aid sent from the United States to Ukraine to around $6.9 billion since the beginning of Russia's attack on the country began in late February. The Pentagon's release noted that the total amount of American assistance to the country is approximately $7.6 billion since President Joe Biden took office and more than $8.8 billion since 2014.

Included in the new round of assistance are two National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), four additional counter-artillery radars and up to 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition. Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) is also being provided.

"We are going to support Ukraine as long as it takes," Biden said during a press conference Thursday at the NATO summit in Madrid.

Ukrainan soldiers operate a tank
The U.S. Department of Defense on Friday announced it was sending $820 million in security assistance to Ukraine. Above, Ukrainian soldiers are seen riding a tank in the eastern Luhansk region on June 23, 2022, amid Russia's military invasion. Photo by ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images

In its Friday statement, the Department of Defense said an authorization of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance was given for the HIMARS ammunition, which is valued at up to $50 million. Such an authorization allows for defense articles and services from Pentagon stocks to be delivered to foreign countries immediately after approval. This marks the 14th Presidential Drawdown of equipment from Pentagon inventories since August 2021, according to the department's statement.

The rest of the new security assistance—$770 million—will come from Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funds. The Pentagon wrote, "Unlike Presidential Drawdown, USAI is an authority under which the United States procures capabilities from industry rather than delivering equipment that is drawn down from DoD [Department of Defense] stocks."

In June, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III announced that representatives from more than 50 nations had pledged to provide more military capabilities to Ukraine's military forces.

Among the largest countries supporting Ukraine's defense against Russia is the United Kingdom. On Wednesday, the U.K. announced it would contribute an additional $1.2 billion of military support to Ukraine. Those funds will reportedly be used for air defense systems, unmanned aerial vehicles and equipment for soldiers.

"U.K. weapons, equipment and training are transforming Ukraine's defenses against this onslaught. And we will continue to stand squarely behind the Ukrainian people to ensure [Russian President Vladimir] Putin fails in Ukraine," U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.