By Kyle Anzalone / Antiwar.com
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Washington would send over $1 billion in additional aid to Ukraine. The funds include $275 million for the military, $300 million for the police, and over $200 million in humanitarian assistance. The arms package includes depleted uranium, known to have grave health and environmental consequences.
The top American diplomat explained that $175 million worth of weapons will be transferred from the US to Ukraine under the Presidential Drawdown Authority. Blinken made the announcement while meeting with top Ukrainian officials and attending photo ops in Kyiv.
According to the Department of Defense, the package includes equipment to support air defense systems, ammunition for HIMARS, 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds. The Pentagon is also providing 81mm mortars systems and rounds, 120mm depleted uranium tank ammunition, TOW missiles, Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems, small arms ammunition, tactical air navigation systems, tactical secure communications systems and support equipment, as well as demolitions munitions.
The package is the forty-sixth the White House has approved during the Joe Biden administration. It is the first time Washington approved the transfer of depleted uranium to Ukraine. The ammunition is toxic and is linked to cancer and birth defects in places it has been used, including Iraq.
The Pentagon says total military aid to Ukraine tops $43 billion. Blinken said Kyiv will additionally receive $100 million in grants to buy weapons in the future.
Blinken remarked that the aid announcement was a requirement to make the trip to Ukraine, “Never go to someone’s home without bringing a housewarming gift,” he said in Kyiv. “We come bearing some further assistance for Ukraine across multiple areas, but that assistance doesn’t actually mean anything unless it is used effectively.” While in Kyiv, the diplomat engaged in photo ops, including holding a puppy in a children’s hospital.
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During a press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart, Blinken said he had visited a war cemetery earlier in the day and remarked he had an emotional response to seeing the faces of so many dead, young Ukrainians.
While Blinken blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin as solely to blame for their deaths, Washington has pushed Kyiv into an unwinnable military situation. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the White House declined to negotiate an agreement with the Kremlin that could have averted the war. Just after the invasion, Washington squashed talks between Kyiv and Moscow.
In recent months, the US has pushed Ukraine to engage into launching an offensive that the Pentagon knew would create high casualties for Kyiv. Washington coerced Kyiv into deploying tactics that would cause such high losses despite the US intelligence community assessing the offensive had little chance of success.