July 14th, 2024

US Defense chief Austin says US will provide $2.3 billion in military aid to Ukraine

By Tara Copp, The Associated Press on July 2, 2024.

FILE - Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin addresses a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, June 14, 2024. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday, June 24, that State Department counselor Derek Chollet, one of his most senior aides, is leaving to become Austin's chief of staff. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Tuesday that the U.S. will soon announce an additional $2.3 billion in security assistance for Ukraine, to include anti-tank weapons, interceptors and munitions for Patriot and other air defense systems.

The announcement came as Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov met with Austin at the Pentagon. And it marks a strong response to pleas from Kyiv for help in battling Russian forces in the Donetsk region.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday that Russia had dropped more than 800 powerful glide bombs in Ukraine in the last week alone. And he urged national leaders to relax restrictions on the use of Western weapons to strike military targets inside Russia. In particular, he said Ukraine needs the “necessary means to destroy the carriers of these bombs, including Russian combat aircraft, wherever they are.”

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