Biden announces nearly $3B in new military aid for Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Six months after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he is sending $2.98 billion in new military aid to Ukraine that

will provide longer-term weapons and training to enable forces there to fight for years to come. In a statement, Biden said the aid will allow Ukraine to acquire air

defense systems, artillery systems and munitions, drones and other equipment “to ensure it can continue to defend itself over the long term.” The announcement comes as

Ukraine is celebrating its 1991 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union. “I know this independence day is bittersweet for many Ukrainians as thousands have been

killed or wounded, millions have been displaced from their homes, and so many others have fallen victim to Russian atrocities and attacks,” Biden said. “But six months of

relentless attacks have only strengthened Ukrainians’ pride in themselves, in their country, and in their thirty-one years of independence.” The aid package is being

provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which funds contracts to purchase weapons and equipment. It includes money for the small, hand-launched Puma drones,

equipment for the longer-endurance Scan Eagle surveillance drones, which are launched by catapult, and, for the first time, the Vampire anti-drone system, which can be launched

off ships. In addition there is money for six advanced surface-to-air missile systems, known as NASAMS, munitions for them, 24 counter-artillery radars, precision rocket

systems, and more than 300,000 rounds of artillery and mortar ammunition.