The Trump administration on Tuesday announced plans to provide an additional $250 million in lethal weapons and aid to the Ukrainian military. With the new aid package, the U.S. military will have given a total of $1.5 billion to Ukraine since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula.
The funds will “support ongoing training programs and operational needs” and finance additional training and equipment for Ukrainian forces, the Pentagon said in a statement. Some of the equipment provided will be particularly useful for protecting against and confronting Russia, including sniper rifles, grenade launchers, counter-artillery radars, electronic warfare-detection technology, and secure communications. The U.S. will also assist with military medical treatment and other aid.
Ukraine is in the process of embracing “key defense institutional reforms” that will “bolster Ukraine’s ability to defend its territorial integrity in support of a secure, prosperous, democratic, and free Ukraine,” the Pentagon said.
In November, Russian coast guard ships in the Black Sea opened fire on and captured three Ukrainian Navy ships as well as 23 crew members, an act then-U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called an “outrageous violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory.” The Pentagon also pledged increased support to the Ukrainian Navy and maritime soldiers in the wake of that attack.