Blinken Announces $600 Million Drawdown Of US Military Equipment For Ukraine

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced another round of military assistance for Ukraine on Thursday.

The secretary of state said that $600 million in arms, munitions, and other equipment from Department of Defense inventories will be sent to Ukraine as part the twenty-first drawdown of U.S. military supplies for the war-torn country since September 2021.

"Together with our Allies and partners, we are delivering the arms and equipment that Ukraine’s forces are utilizing so effectively as they continue their successful counter-offensive against Russia’s invasion," Blinken said in a statement on Thursday.

"President Biden has been clear we will support the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes," he added.

The latest drawdown of Department of Defense equipment will bring the total amount U.S. military assistance for Ukraine to approximately $15.8 billion since President Joe Biden took office, according to the State Department.

"The capabilities we are delivering are carefully calibrated to make the most difference on the battlefield and strengthen Ukraine’s hand at the negotiating table when the time is right," Blinken said.

In his nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky once again pleaded for more military assistance from Western nations, singling out the need for air defense systems.

"Progress is needed in providing Ukraine with air defense systems. We already have agreements with certain countries, our diplomats are working with others. I want to emphasize that without providing us with a sufficient number of sufficiently effective air defense systems that will protect the Ukrainian skies, Russia will continue to feel impunity and provoke new local and global crises. Therefore, protecting Ukraine from Russian missiles is truly a basic element of global security," Zelensky said on Thursday.

"In general, supporting Ukraine with weapons, ammunition and finances is crucial for peace in Europe. The better support we have, the sooner this war will end," he added.

Earlier this week, Ukraine successfully embarked on a major counteroffensive in the eastern part of the country which allowed Ukrainian forces to recapture almost all of Kharkiv Oblast.

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington, D.C., based think tank, attributed the success of the counteroffensive to the “skillful campaign design and execution that included efforts to maximize the impact of western weapons systems such as HIMARS.”