US expected to send US$450 million in security aid to Ukraine: Officials

WASHINGTON: The United States is expected to provide an additional US$450 million in security assistance to Ukraine, including more long-range rocket systems, two US officials told Reuters on Thursday (Jun 23).

Moscow’s forces are advancing in Ukraine’s east in a bid to capture the industrial heartland known as the Donbas, where Ukraine fears some of its troops could be encircled in a Russian pincer move.

One of the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said an announcement was expected later on Thursday and the latest package is expected to include four additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

The official added that details on the package could change at the last minute.

Earlier on Thursday, Ukraine said it had received the first tranche of HIMARS, a powerful long-range weapon system that Kyiv hopes can help turn the tide in the months-long battle.

The latest package comes after President Joe Biden’s administration last week announced a fresh infusion of US$1 billion in weapons for Ukraine that includes anti-ship rocket systems, artillery rockets, howitzers and ammunition.