Tuesday, July 16, 2024

U.S. Supplying Ukraine With Defensive Weapons as Rapidly as Possible, Says Defense Official 

Stinger and Javelin missiles, along with unmanned aerial systems and other defensive materiel are being rushed into Ukraine, according to a Defense Department official.

John F. Kirby, Pentagon press secretary held a news conference today.  

“We’re going to continue to support Ukraine’s ability to defend itself. We’re going to do that as much as we can and as fast as we can,” he said.

“We’ve now committed more than $2.3 billion in security assistance to Ukraine just since the beginning of this administration, including more than $1.6 billion since Russia’s invasion,” he said.

The U.S. also continues to work with its allies and partners to identify and provide to the Ukrainians additional capabilities and will utilize all available tools to support Ukraine’s armed forces as they fight bravely for the defense of their country, Kirby said.

Today, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov to reaffirm U.S. support for Ukraine. Kirby said Austin and Reznikov are in regular contact, and resupply of defensive materiel is a regular topic, with the U.S. supplying what is needed.

The department believes that the Russian military intends to refocus their efforts on the Donbas area of eastern Ukraine as they redeploy forces out of the areas near Kyiv and other areas of the north central area of Ukraine, Kirby said, adding that there has not yet been a wholesale movement in that direction yet.

In other news, Kirby said the U.S., and other NATO allies are conducting Exercise Northern Viking in Iceland. The exercise will run through April 14 and demonstrates the U.S. commitment to the defense of Iceland and Greenland.

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