WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony Blinken unveiled a new $1 billion aid package for Ukraine during his unannounced two-day trip to Kyiv this week — but only a fraction of the money will go toward military equipment and weapons.
Less than 20% of the assistance — about $175 million — is earmarked to supply the critical munition Kyiv’s defenders desperately need to strengthen their counteroffensive and take back Russian-occupied territory, according to a breakdown from the State Department.
This will include “air-defense system components, [rockets] for HIMARS, munitions, ammunition, and communications systems,” the department said in a statement Wednesday.
While another $100 million will be put toward “foreign military financing” – a grant-like State Department program that helps other nations purchase weapons and equipment – the vast majority of the $1 billion package is expected to support non-military aid.
The small amount set aside for military might comes after experts warned that Ukraine’s Western allies, including the US, have stalled on providing the necessary weapons crucial to the long-awaited counteroffensive, including Abrams tanks and F-16 fighter jets.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to announce a new $1 billion aid package for Ukraine during his trip to Kyiv this week.
“If more had been approved earlier, with fastest training and delivery as a clear priority, Ukraine would likely have been better off today as Russia would have had less time to prepare, and Ukraine would have had more combat power to apply to their objectives earlier,” retired US Maj. Gen. Gordon “Skip” Davis, now a senior fellow with the Center for European Policy Analysis, previously told The Post.
Those non-military line items, meanwhile, include $300 million to “support law enforcement” and $206 million in humanitarian assistance for “food, water and shelter” for those “forced to flee to neighboring countries.”
The department said the law enforcement funds are meant to help Ukrainian officials’ “efforts to restore and maintain law and order in liberated areas” of Ukraine that had been occupied temporarily by Russian soldiers, including those that are still “facing continuous shelling” by Moscow.
Blinken meeting with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on September 6, 2023.
Another $90.5 million of the 10-figure package will be put toward “humanitarian demining assistance,” as Russians have littered Ukraine’s Donbas region with mines.
It also includes $5.4 million in assets the US has claimed from the property and funds of sanctioned Russian oligarchs. That money will be used “to support veteran reintigration and rehabilitation” for Ukrainian soldiers returning home from the battlefield.
A remaining roughly $203 million will be put toward “transparency and accountability of institutions” to support “anti-corruption, rule of law and the justice sector,” coming just days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fired his former Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov, who was accused of overspending on troop meals and winter coats.
A Ukrainian soldier stationed near Bakhmut in the Donetsk region on September 4, 2023.
AP Photo/Libkos
The new package comes a week after Blinken unveiled a $250 million package of military equipment on Aug. 29, drawn from $6.2 billion of funds discovered after a Pentagon accounting error that overvalued billions of dollars of Ukraine aid.
As of that date, there was “approximately $5.75 billion in restored Presidential Drawdown Authority [funds] that remain available for Ukraine,” the Pentagon told reporters on Tuesday.
While the exact contents of the upcoming package have yet to be revealed, last week’s package included air defense missiles, HIMARS munitions, artillery shells and much-needed mine-clearing equipment.
Blinken touring the Alley of Heroes at the Berkovetske cemetery in Kyiv with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Service via AP
Meanwhile, Blinken on Wednesday met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv, where they “discussed the United States’ steadfast support for Ukraine’s recovery, reconstruction and reform efforts,” the State Department said in a readout of the meeting.
The top US diplomat also emphasized “the US commitment to work in concert with partners to address Ukraine’s energy, economic and humanitarian needs.”
Later, he will also meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba “to discuss Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive and future recovery and reconstruction efforts,” said State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.
Blinken shaking hands with Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal during his visit to Kyiv.
Blinken is scheduled to stay in Ukraine for two days.
The US has provided more than $43 billion in weapons and military equipment to Ukraine since Russia invaded the nation on Feb. 24, 2022, according to the Pentagon.

Original Story: Blinken to announce new $1B Ukraine aid package during Kyiv trip

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