The US Department of Defense (DoD) has announced $820m in additional security assistance as part of its priority to equip the Ukrainian armed forces to counter Russia.

The aid package includes $50m of assistance through the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), and the remaining $770m comes from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).

The 14th drawdown of equipment from DoD stockpiles for Ukraine include more ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

Two National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition, and four counter-artillery radars are the key capabilities to be provided under the USAI.

As part of USAI funding, the US will initiate a contracting process to procure capabilities from industries.

Pentagon press secretary Todd Breasseale said the US is engaged with its allies to help Ukraine in its fight against threats.

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By GlobalData

The US has committed over $7.62bn in aid to Ukraine since January 2021, including $6.92bn since the Russian invasion began.

On the war front, Russia has reportedly retreated from Snake Island, located in the Black Sea area of Ukraine.

According to a senior DoD official, the latest development shows that “Ukrainians were very successful at applying significant pressure on the Russians, including by using Harpoon missiles that they recently acquired to attack a resupply ship”.

This makes it easy for Ukraine to open sea lanes in the future, the official added.

Norway has also decided to increase its funding by Nkr10bn ($1,005m) to support Ukraine with humanitarian aid, reconstruction, weapons, and budgetary support.

The funding will be distributed over 2022 and 2023.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said: “Norway supports Ukraine’s right to choose its own path.

“Together with our partners, the Norwegian Government will support reforms designed to increase Ukraine’s integration into Euro-Atlantic structures. Norway will seek effective, joint European solutions where possible, as this is in our interests as well.”

Continuing efforts to strengthen the Ukrainian armed forces, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the country will provide 34 more armoured vehicles to Kyiv.

The military assistance includes 14 armoured personnel carriers and 20 Bushmaster vehicles.

During his visit to Kyiv, the PM also announced his government’s decision to ban Russian gold imports and impose sanctions on 16 Russian ministers and oligarchs.