The US Department of Defense (DoD) has announced it will provide its 43rd military assistance package, worth $400m, to Ukraine on 25 July 2023 as the country wages a slow but steady counter-offensive.
The DoD will supply additional air defence munitions, artillery and other ammunition, armoured vehicles, anti-armour weapons and other equipment while the Ukrainian counter-offensive continues at a pace that was described by the Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary, Sabrina Singh, as “slow but steady progress.”
The package includes additional munitions for Patriot air defence systems and National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS); Stinger anti-aircraft systems; additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS); 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds and 60mm mortar rounds, among other equipment.
“More air defence for Ukraine, more artillery, more long-range weapons [are needed],” the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, stated two days earlier. “The recipe for ending the war is obvious: everything depends on the unity and determination of all those who value freedom, culture and life.”
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“Slow but steady” despite defending territory and internal betrayal?
In the Pentagon press briefing on the 25 July, Singh was asked by one reporter what the DoD thought of Russian forces mounting an offensive near the Oskil River near the Kupiansk region.
Referring the journalist to Ukraine Ministry of Defence, many are left to ask if this demonstrates what the DoD labelled “slow but steady progress” if Ukraine must divert forces to defend territory it had previously liberated.
Furthermore, the military aid comes at a time when Zelenskyy also faced what he called “internal betrayal” from top government and military officials exploiting the wealth of the state at a time of a brutal war.
“No one will forgive MPs, judges, ‘military commissars’ or any other officials for putting themselves in opposition to the state. For some, it’s about islands and resorts during the war, for others it’s about lining one’s pockets in the military enlistment office, for others it’s about bribes in the courts. For any public official, this is a betrayal of state principles, a betrayal of the interests of society,” Zelenskyy stated.