A new $100 million military aid package for Ukraine was unveiled by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin during a surprise trip to Kyiv.
On Monday, Austin made a commitment to the United States’ long-term support during his first trip to Kyiv since April 2022. He also met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, and Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi.
The United States of America is with you, Mr. President, is the message I’m bringing you today. Austin assured Zelenskyy that he would stick by him for the long haul.
Austin asserted that US support would last “for the long haul” and that Ukraine’s effort to defeat Russian forces “matters to the rest of the world.”
Anti-tank weapons, air defense interceptors, and an additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) are all part of the new aid package.
Zelenskyy described Austin’s visit as “a very important signal” for Ukraine.
The president of Ukraine stated, “We count on your support.”
The US has provided more than $44 billion in security support since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, with additional $35 billion coming from allies and advanced European and US battle tanks, as well as pledges for F-16 fighter jets.
However, there are worries that allied support is waning in light of the devastating Israel-Gaziland conflict and what appears to be a slow-moving Ukrainian counteroffensive that started in June.
Although Ukraine has recently reported some success in the southern Kherson region, where it has established a foothold on the east bank of the Dnipro River and in Black Sea, fighting has been stifled throughout the country’s east around abandoned towns like Bakhmut and Adviidka.
However, as the cold weather arrives, the ground conditions will make it harder for either side to achieve significant gains.
After his meetings, Austin told reporters, “I believe they are ready for battle in the winter,” adding that Russia was anticipated to be “even more aggressive.”
Millions of Ukrainians were left in the dark and cold last year when Moscow relentlessly attacked Ukraine’s power grid and energy infrastructure.
It would be incorrect to believe there is time to wait, according to Fred Kagan, a senior resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
It’s not that the impasse will end if we stop aiding Ukraine. According to Kagan, the assistance is actually necessary to stop the Russians from starting to maneuver once more in a way that could help them defeat Ukraine. Therefore, cutting off aid results in Russia winning, Ukraine losing, and NATO losing.