Blinken Announces $2 Billion in Ukraine Aid During Visit to Kyiv
Notably, the latest tranche of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine will include additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a new military aid package worth more than $2.8 billion during a visit to Kyiv on Thursday.
“Ukraine’s extraordinary front-line defenders continue to courageously fight for their country’s freedom, and President Biden has been clear that we will support the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Blinken said. “I reiterated this message to President Zelenskyy and his team today in Kyiv, which remains—and will remain—the capital of a sovereign, independent Ukraine.”
Blinken visited Ohmatdyt children’s hospital in Kyiv to meet with doctors and patients. “We so admire the courage, the spirit of your children. It sends a very strong message all around the world,” he said. “And it’s an honor for me to meet you, to meet them, and to see the wonderful work that the doctors, the Minister, the Ronald McDonald House, everyone is doing. We’re just happy to be able to help and to be a friend and a partner," Blinken added. Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) announced in December 2021 that a Ronald McDonald House equipped with fifty rooms will be built on the territory of the Ohmatdyt hospital.
Blinken notified Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of the Biden administration’s intent to provide Kyiv with a further $675 million drawdown in “additional arms, munitions, and equipment,” as well as $2.2 billion in “long-term investments” to “bolster the security of Ukraine and 18 of its neighbors; including many of our NATO Allies, as well as other regional security partners potentially at risk of future Russian aggression.” Around one billion of the latter sum will reportedly be allocated to Ukraine, with the rest going to other countries in central-eastern Europe. Blinken last traveled to Kyiv along with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in late April.
The latest tranche of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine will include additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), high-speed anti-radiation missiles (HARM), over 5,000 anti-armor systems, and 1.5 million rounds of small arms ammunition, Defense Department officials announced on Thursday. “The capabilities we are delivering are carefully calibrated to make the most difference on the battlefield,” said Blinken. The funding announced on Tuesday will bring the White House’s total military aid to Ukraine since the war began on February 24 to $13.5 billion, according to the New York Times.
Blinken’s visit comes amid ongoing Ukrainian counter-offensives to capture Russian-occupied territories in the southeastern and northeastern parts of the country. Ukraine’s battlefield progress in those campaigns, which are currently concentrated in the Kherson and Kharkiv regions, has not been independently corroborated.
Mark Episkopos is a national security reporter for the National Interest.