The Biden administration announced late Tuesday a drawdown of $100 million in security assistance for Ukraine.
President Joe Biden approved the drawdown of anti-armor systems valued at up to $100 million from Defense Department stockpiles, bringing the total value of arms, equipment and supplies given to the besieged Eastern European nation to more than $2.4 billion since the beginning of the administration and $1.7 billion since the invasion began.
“The world has been shocked and appalled by the atrocities committed by Russia’s forces in Bucha and across Ukraine,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “Ukraine’s forces bravely continue to defend their country and their freedom, and the United States, along with our allies and partners, stand steadfast in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The announcement comes on the heels of Biden and his national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, separately telling reporters Monday that the United States will continue to arm Ukraine after the revelation over the weekend that hundreds of civilians in the Kyiv region, including the city of Bucha, were brutally executed by retreating Russian forces.
Ukrainian officials have said 410 charred bodies were found in cities and suburbs surrounding the capital, posting graphic images and video of dead and bloodied Ukrainians with hands tied behind their backs and littered upon roads.
The Biden administration is working “around the clock” to fulfill Ukraine’s main security assistance requests, Sullivan said Monday with Blinken stating in his Tuesday statement that they will supply Ukraine’s “urgent need for additional anti-armor systems” without specifying the weapons.
To date, the United States has conducted six drawdowns for Ukraine since August of last year.
The Defense Department on Friday also announced a $300 million security assistance package that included laser-guided rocket systems, switchblade tactical unmanned aerial systems and others under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiate, which differs from a presidential drawdown from Pentagon reserves as it procures the items from companies.
On March 16, Biden announced an additional $800 drawdown package of 800 stinger anti-aircraft systems, 2,000 javelin missiles, 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition and the like.
More than 30 countries have provided similar assistance to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country early Feb. 24.
The announcement also was made amid a growing push from democratic nations following the weekend revelations of atrocities committed in the Kyiv region to impose further sanctions against Russia and to hold its leadership, including President Vladimir Putin, to account for war crimes.
“As we strengthen Ukraine’s position on the battlefield and at the negotiating table, we will also work with our allies and partners to gather information to document reported abuses and make it available to the appropriate bodies to hold those responsible to account,” Blinken said.
The Biden administration announced Monday that it is supplying Ukraine with up to $100 million in military assistance from U.S. defense inventories.