Against tremendous odds, with extraordinary courage, and in the face of Russia’s relentless brutality against civilians, Ukraine’s forces are regaining ground, as Russian forces retreat from Kyiv and the surrounding region. Still, Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked, unjustified, and brutal war against Ukraine is far from over. Russia is repositioning its forces for renewed attacks in eastern and southern Ukraine. The United States, its Allies and partners must take action now to surge additional military assistance as Ukraine prepares for the next phase in the fight for its freedom and its very future.
I have authorized, pursuant to a delegation from the President earlier today, a drawdown to provide immediate military assistance to Ukraine valued at up to $800 million. This authorization is the seventh drawdown of arms, equipment, and supplies from Department of Defense inventories for Ukraine since August 2021. This new package features a host of additional capabilities in response to the Ukrainian Government’s requests, including artillery, armored vehicles, helicopters, and Unmanned Coastal Defense Vessels, as well as engineering and field support equipment, in addition to supplementing anti-armor and anti-personnel capabilities, counter artillery, and air defense radars, tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, body armor, and combat medical equipment.
Today’s authorization will bring the total U.S. security assistance commitment to Ukraine to more than $3.2 billion since the beginning of this Administration, and more than $2.5 billion since the beginning of Russia’s brutal assault against Ukraine began on February 24. In addition to what we have provided, more than 30 countries have joined us to deliver security assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began. Together, we are working around the clock to deliver security assistance every day, and we are expediting shipments of even more of the arms and defense equipment Ukraine needs to defend itself.
We remain in close contact with Ukraine and are supportive of President Zelenskyy’s commitment to engage in diplomacy that leads to Russia stopping its attacks and withdrawing its forces. We are focused on putting Ukraine in the strongest possible negotiating position by continuing to provide security assistance to help Ukraine defend itself and by increasing pressure on Putin by imposing severe costs on Russia. We and our Allies and partners will continue to provide security assistance, humanitarian aid, and economic support to Ukraine.
Russia has failed in its initial objective of capturing Kyiv and failed to subjugate Ukraine, but we cannot become complacent. The United States and the international community will make Putin’s war of choice a long-term strategic failure for the Kremlin.