US sending $3 billion to Ukraine as war hits 6 months

Russia At War

FILE – Orthodox priest Father Andriy prays for unidentified civilians killed by Russian troops during Russian occupation in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Aug. 11, 2022. Six months after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine and with no end to the conflict in sight, The Associated Press revisited Danyk Rak, a 12-year-old looking after his wounded mother, as well as a police officer and an Orthodox priest whose lives have been upended by war. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Russia’s war on Ukraine continues, U.S. security assistance is shifting to a longer-term campaign that will likely keep more American military troops in Europe into the future, including imminent plans to announce an additional roughly $3 billion in aid to train and equip Ukrainian forces to fight for years to come, U.S. officials said.

U.S. officials told The Associated Press that the package is expected to be announced Wednesday, the day the war hits the six-month mark and Ukraine celebrates its independence day. The money will fund contracts for drones, weapons and other equipment that may not see the battlefront for a year or two, they said.

The total of the aid package — which is being provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative — could change overnight, but not likely by much. Several officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the aid before its public release.

Unlike most previous packages, the new funding is largely aimed at helping Ukraine secure its medium- to long-term defense posture, according to officials familiar with the matter. Earlier shipments, most of them done under Presidential Drawdown Authority, have focused on Ukraine’s more immediate needs for weapons and ammunition and involved material that the Pentagon already has in stock that can be shipped in short order.

In addition to providing longer-term assistance that Ukraine can use for potential future defense needs, the new package is intended to reassure Ukrainian officials that the United States intends to keep up its support, regardless of the day-to-day back and forth of the conflict, the officials said.

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