Washington.- The American president Joe Biden gave the green light on Wednesday to a new massive military aid to Ukraine, which includes armored vehicles, artillery and helicopters, heavier weapons than those delivered so far.
During a phone call this Wednesday with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr ZelenskyBiden announced a new section of aid worth 800 million dollars (735 million euros), according to the White House.
The new US arms deliveries include “very effective equipment that we have already delivered” to Ukraine, but also “new capabilities,” including “artillery systems” and “armored means of transport,” the government said.
Pentagon spokesman J.ohn Kirbypublished a list of weapons specifying that it comes from the reserves of the US Navy and that it is available to be delivered “as soon as possible”.
These are 18 M777 Howitzer cannons, state-of-the-art artillery pieces used in the war in Afghanistan, accompanied by 40,000 155mm howitzers, 10 AN/TPQ36 mobile anti-artillery radars and two AN/MPQ64 “Sentinel” anti-aircraft radars.
Additionally, this new tranche of aid includes 300 Switchblade “kamikaze” drones, as well as 500 Javelin missiles and “thousands of other anti-tank systems,” to which are added 200 M13 armored personnel carriers and 100 Humvee light armored personnel carriers, Kirby said. .
Joe Biden also gave the green light for the transfer of 11 additional Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters destined for the Afghan military before it capitulated to the Taliban.
US media claimed that the helicopters had been removed from the list, so the White House spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, clarified that the doubts in this regard had been on the part of Ukraine and not Washington.
“For a moment, they were not clear about their request to receive other helicopters,” Psaki told reporters. “Today they said they wanted them.”
It is the first time that the Biden administration has provided artillery to Ukraine, Kirby noted, explaining that the battle for Donbas will not resemble the one in kyiv, since Russian forces are less dispersed than at the beginning of the invasion and because the terrain there it is different.
“This part of Ukraine is a bit flatter and more open” than the north, the spokesman explained. “It’s the kind of place where you can expect the Russians to use tanks and heavy artillery to hit their targets before sending in soldiers,” he said.
kyiv called on the population of this region to flee quickly before the Russian army launches a major offensive for total control of Donbas, an area disputed by Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian forces since 2014.
At a time when the Russians are close to taking full control of the strategic port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov and may extend their offensive from the Black Sea, Washington’s aid includes unmanned coastal defense ships named was not specified.
These “floating drones” are specially designed for anti-mine dredging but can also be equipped with maritime and underwater surveillance sensors.
Until now, the United States had been reluctant to hand over the heavy equipment the Ukrainians were asking for, saying this would only fuel more tension between Washington and Moscow, with the risk that the Americans would be seen as an active party in the war.
However, the White House seems to abandon the distinction it made between the delivery of “defensive” equipment, which it authorized, and “offensive” equipment, which it refused to supply.
The United States has provided Ukraine with most of the international military aid received by kyiv in recent months.
The total amount of aid granted, before the announcement on Wednesday, reached 2,400 million dollars (2,206 million euros).
Analysts estimate that Russian President Vladimir Putin, stranded by fierce Ukrainian resistance, wants to score a victory in Donbas before the May 9 military parade commemorating the Soviet victory over the Nazis in 1945.
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