U.S. & WORLD

U.S. Now Supplying Generators To Ukraine As Russia Blows Up Power Plants, Maternity Hospital Hit

November 23, 2022

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is sending another $400 million in ammunition and generators to Ukraine, the White House announced Wednesday, and is pulling the gear from its own stockpiles to get the support to Kyiv as fast as possible as Russia continues to target Ukraine's energy sources and winter sets in.

Including the latest aid, the U.S. has committed more than $19 billion in weapons and other equipment to Ukraine since Russia attacked on Feb. 24. The new package of aid will be provided through presidential drawdown authority, which allows the Pentagon to take weapons from its own stock and quickly ship them to Ukraine.

A punishing new barrage of Russian strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure on Wednesday caused power outages across large parts of the country as well as neighboring Moldova, piling more damage onto Ukraine’s already battered power network and adding to the misery for civilians as winter begins.

“The attack started and the first S300 rocket hit the road. The second rocket hit this place, the main general hospital, at the maternity wing where people were," she said. "One woman gave birth two days ago. She delivered a boy. Unfortunately this rocket took the life of this child who lived only two days..”

Multiple regions reported attacks in quick succession and Ukraine’s Energy Ministry said that “the vast majority of electricity consumers were cut off.” Officials in Kyiv said three people were killed and nine wounded in the capital after a Russian strike hit a two-story building.

A Russian rocket struck the maternity wing of a hospital in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, killing a newborn boy and critically injuring a doctor. The overnight explosion left the small-town hospital a crumbled mess of bricks, scattering medical supplies across the small compound.

It was the second deadly strike on the small town of Vilniansk in a week, and Mayor Nataliya Usienko said she feared it would not be the last.

“The attack started and the first S300 rocket hit the road. The second rocket hit this place, the main general hospital, at the maternity wing where people were," she said. "One woman gave birth two days ago. She delivered a boy. Unfortunately this rocket took the life of this child who lived only two days..”

Ukrainian firefighters work at a damaged hospital maternity ward in Vilniansk, Zaporizhzhia region,
[Photo Credit: AP Photo/Kateryna Klochko] Ukrainian firefighters work at a damaged hospital maternity ward in Vilniansk, Zaporizhzhia region

The latest air package from Washington includes 200 generators, an undisclosed amount of additional rounds for both the advanced NASAMS air defense systems and the HIMARS artillery systems the U.S. has shipped to Ukraine, 150 heavy machine guns with thermal sights to shoot down drones, 10,000 120mm mortar rounds and another 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition, among other items, the Pentagon said.

Now in its ninth month, the intense firefight in Ukraine has had both sides firing thousands of rounds of munitions a day, from bullets for small arms to truck-sized cruise missiles. In a sign of how intense the ground battle has been, the U.S. to date has provided 104 million rounds of small arms ammunition to Ukraine.

“With Russia’s unrelenting and brutal missile and (drone) attacks on Ukrainian critical energy infrastructure, additional air defense capabilities remain an urgent priority," the Pentagon said in a statement. “The additional munitions for NASAMS and heavy machine guns will help Ukraine counter these urgent threats.”

The continued push of weapons to Kyiv however is raising questions about how long the U.S. and partner nations can continue to sustain the fight without an impact to military readiness. Many European nations have already expressed that they have pushed forward all the excess they can afford to send.

Last week, the Pentagon's top weapons buyer, Bill LaPlante, traveled to Brussels to meet with 45 partner nations to discuss some of Ukraine's top priorities, including more air defense systems and long-range weapons. They discussed coordinating efforts to keep weapons flowing by identifying the capabilities of their individual defense industrial bases as well as the supply chain and production constraints they face, the Pentagon said in a statement.

The flow of weapons comes as the Biden administration seeks to pass an additional $37 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine during the post-election session of Congress, before Republicans take over control of the House in January. Some Republican members including potential speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have questioned the amount of money being spent on Ukraine.

From the U.S. Department of Defense (official):

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

$400 Million in Additional Assistance for Ukraine

Nov. 23, 2022

Today, the Department of Defense (DoD) announces the authorization of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance valued at up to $400 million to meet Ukraine's critical security and defense needs. This authorization is the Biden Administration's twenty-sixth drawdown of equipment from DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021.

Capabilities in this package include:

•    Additional munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS);

•    150 heavy machine guns with thermal imagery sights to counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS);

•    Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);

•    200 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds;

•    10,000 120mm mortar rounds;

•    High-speed Anti-radiation missiles (HARMs);

•    150 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs);

•    Over 100 light tactical vehicles;

•    Over 20,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition;

•    Over 200 generators;

•    Spare parts for 105mm Howitzers and other equipment.

With Russia's unrelenting and brutal missile and UAS attacks on Ukrainian critical energy infrastructure, additional air defense capabilities remain an urgent priority. The additional munitions for NASAMS and heavy machine guns will help Ukraine counter these urgent threats. 

In total, the United States has committed more than $19.7 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration. Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $21.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine and more than $19 billion since the beginning of Russia's unprovoked and brutal invasion on February 24.

To meet Ukraine's evolving battlefield requirements, the United States will continue to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with key capabilities.

Ukrainian soldiers fire an artillery at Russian positions near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022.
[Photo Credit: LIBKOS/AP] Ukrainian soldiers fire an artillery at Russian positions near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022.
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