US to send Ukraine medical vehicles, mine clearing equipment and more in latest package
PHOTO CAPTION: Representational photo — A U.S. Army High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is seen firing during Talisman Sabre 23 at Delamere Air Weapons Range, Northern Territory, Australia, July 27, 2023. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tylir Meyer via U.S. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service)
By Nandita Bose and Kanishka Singh
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday announced a new package of military assistance to support Ukraine that includes additional air defense and artillery munitions, mine clearing equipment and medical vehicles.
The latest package includes additional mine clearing equipment, missiles for air defense, ammunition for artillery and HIMAR (High Mobility Artillery Rocket) systems, and over three million rounds of small-arms ammunition, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
"The United States and our allies and partners will stand united with Ukraine, for as long as it takes," Blinken said.
The equipment is funded through money previously approved by Congress.
More than $43 billion in U.S. military aid has been provided to Ukraine since Russia's invasion began in February 2022. President Joe Biden earlier this month asked Congress to approve an additional $24 billion in assistance.
Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have backed Ukraine aid, but some far-right Republicans - especially those allied with former President Donald Trump - want to pare back assistance.
Ukrainian troops began a counteroffensive in the east and south in early June but have made slow progress through Russian minefields and trenches blocking their southern push.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose and Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Andy Sullivan)