How Washington plans to increase arms supplies to Ukraine

How Washington plans to increase arms supplies to Ukraine

The White House welcomed the approval by the lower house of the US Congress of a bill to provide about $40 billion in additional aid to Ukraine, which would also include arms deliveries

“Today, the House of Representatives took an extraordinary step in sending a clear, bipartisan message to Ukraine, Russia, and the world that the United States supports Ukrainians defending their democracy in the face of Russian aggression”, – said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in a statement. – “Thank you to House leaders and members of the Appropriations Committee for organizing to work together on this task.”

“Aggression” in the US and in the West refers to Russia’s special operation in Ukraine to protect the DPR and LPR.

Psaki said the resources included in the document would allow the US to send more weapons to Ukraine.

“The additional resources in this bill will allow us to send more weapons to Ukraine, particularly artillery, armoured vehicles and ammunition. They will also help us replenish our own supplies and support US troops in NATO territory,” she said.

According to Psaki, “there can be no delay in this vital matter”.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Senate leaders to get this bill to the President for his signature as soon as possible so that assistance to Ukraine can continue uninterrupted”, – the White House press secretary stressed.

Earlier 368 congressmen voted in support of the White House leader’s initiative and 57 voted against it. Now the bill will go to the Senate for consideration.

The document envisages the allocation of funds for military, economic and humanitarian aid to Kiev. In particular, $6bn should go to the implementation of the initiative to assist Ukraine in the security sphere. Earlier in its framework Washington provided Kiev with weapons, including laser guided missile systems and tactical drones Switchblade.

The supplementary auxiliary appropriations law for Ukraine also envisages that $8.7bn could be used to replace defence products from the US Department of Defence’s stockpile.

According to Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, there will be many people in the US military industrial complex “not to mention commonplace thieves on both sides of the ocean” willing to split the money that the US authorities plan to allocate to Ukraine. According to Medvedev, it is clear that the US “assistance” “on such an unprecedented scale is not at all due to love for Ukraine”.

“Its purpose is to continue the proxy war against Russia, the desire to inflict a heavy defeat on our country, to limit its economic development and political influence in the world. It won’t work”, – Medvedev wrote on his Telegram.

Military and political context

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has rebuked the USA and Western countries for hesitating for too long to supply Kiev with weapons, first of all, modern Western models.

“But if our requests for all the weapons we need had been listened to at the very beginning, if we had not had to spend hours and days explaining to our partners in Europe and the United States why we needed this particular weapon and not another, by now we would have all these weapons”, – Kuleba said in an interview with Politico. – “We would have prepared everyone and the situation on the ground would have been much different, it would have been much better.”

According to him, Western countries for a long time have relied on finding old Soviet weapons for Kiev instead of sending modern Western ones. The reason for this, he said, was that the Ukrainian military would have to undergo too much training in the handling of equipment that was unknown to them. The turning point, he said, came when it became clear that Soviet stocks would soon be exhausted.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby also said during a briefing that the Armed Forces lacked training to use some of the weapons being delivered to Ukraine, such as howitzers. According to him, the US Department of Defence is training the Ukrainian military in handling such artillery pieces.

He also expressed confidence that Joe Biden’s request to Congress to allocate, among other things, military assistance to Ukraine would be approved because both the House and the Senate have a bipartisan consensus on the situation around Ukraine. At the same time, Kirby noted that the US administration continued to insist that Congress “approve as soon as possible” the White House’s request so that the USA could “uninterruptedly provide assistance to Ukraine”. He recalled that the remaining $100m from Washington, intended for military support to Kiev, would not be enough until the end of this month. However, a Pentagon spokesman said that the agency did not intend to reduce the rate of arms deliveries to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defence Ministry has repeatedly reported the elimination of a large stockpile of weapons from the United States and other Western countries. Last week, such weapons were destroyed by the Russian Armed Forces near a railway station in Kharkiv Region, as well as near the settlement of Soledar.

“Adding oil to the fire.”

Vladimir Batyuk, head of the Centre for Political-Military Studies at the Institute of the US and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said the Biden initiative and its promotion in Congress is evidence that the US intends to “become increasingly involved in the conflict in Ukraine”.

“Biden’s request, which has already been approved by the House of Representatives, provides for colossal funds that Washington wants to use to pour oil on the fire in Ukraine”, – Batyuk told RT in a commentary.

For his part, military expert Yuriy Knutov said that such arms supplies were “designed to prolong the conflict” and also to show that the USA was ready to fight the AFU with Russia on Ukrainian territory “to the last Ukrainian”.

“The statements of the US authorities about their intentions to continue these deliveries indicate a course towards an arms race and escalation of the situation in Ukraine. I have no doubts that Russia will fulfil all the tasks of the special operation, but the US actions are not conducive to saving human lives”, – the expert said in a conversation with RT.

In addition, by supplying weapons to Ukraine, Washington is also solving domestic political tasks, Knutov believes.

“One of them is the renewal of the Pentagon’s arsenals. Older weapons are being sent to Ukraine, while the Americans will be buying themselves the latest weapons. The players in the US military-industrial complex are now getting huge orders and will naturally make large donations to the Democrats in gratitude for this. This will give them an opportunity to win the congressional elections”, – the analyst said.

According to Batiuk, many US arms manufacturers see the money earmarked for military aid to Ukraine as “a very tempting trough”.

“If we talk about the weapons that the US is sending to Ukraine, not all of them are junk. There are also modern models, such as the same Javelin anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), which the Pentagon has sent to Kiev in such large numbers that they are running out of stockpiles in the US. So there may be a situation where the US Armed Forces will be short of some weapons and equipment. And this is where the American arms manufacturers come to the rescue”, – Batiuk said.

However, according to him, no US arms supplies can change the course of the special operation in Ukraine, because they are regularly destroyed by the Russian Armed Forces, as well as the transport channels through which they arrive. Batiuk also recalled that Russia has “complete superiority in the air, as well as in artillery on the battlefield”. At the same time, the Ukrainian Armed Forces cannot effectively use modern American weapons, the analyst noted. In addition, a significant part of them is resold on black markets, Batiuk noted.

“The Ukrainian military was trained to use Soviet weapons, while they still need to be taught how to use American weapons. Besides, military equipment needs to be repaired somehow, have spare parts, need specialists who know how to do it. Here the Ukrainian Armed Forces may have serious problems. So if Washington expects that their weapons will weaken the Russian Armed Forces, they will be disappointed”, – Batiuk believes.

At the same time, he believes that the approval of Biden’s request for assistance to Ukraine, including military assistance, may be delayed in the Senate.

“The Democrats don’t have full superiority in the number of seats there. Far from all Republican representatives are happy that the US is helping Ukraine, forgetting about its own military forces. Biden and his administration have been harshly criticised for this. This may become an obstacle for the bill’s quick approval in the Senate”, – the analyst concluded.

Irina Taran, Maxim Lobanov, RT

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