The United States on Tuesday announced a fresh tranche of arms to bolster Ukraine’s mounting counteroffensive against Russian forces, including armored vehicles, precision munitions and mine-clearing equipment.
The $500 million package comes just days after Russia’s own warmaking capacity appeared to fray with a mutiny by its privately run Wagner force.
The weaponry includes 30 Bradley fighting vehicles and 25 Stryker personnel carriers, more rockets for Patriot air defense and Himars precision attack systems; small arms and over 22 millions small arms rounds and grenades, the Pentagon said.
The package “includes key capabilities to support Ukraine’s counteroffensive operations, strengthen its air defenses to help Ukraine protect its people… and other equipment to help Ukraine push back on Russia’s war of aggression.”
The arms will support the Ukraine military’s mounting push to break through the front lines in the south of the country in hopes of driving occupying Russian troops out.
The lines are heavily fortified with anti-tank trenches, extensive mine fields and anti-tank obstacles meant to stymie Ukraine’s advance on the ground.
Earlier Tuesday Russian President Vladimir Putin said that despite the short-lived Wagner revolt led by his longtime crony Yevgeny Prigozhin, Moscow did not need to redeploy any troops from fighting in Ukraine.
“We did not have to take combat units from the special military operation zone,” Putin said, adding that “all military formations continued to wage a heroic fight at the front.”