Second batch of U.S. weapons arrive Ukraine as Russia invasion looms

U.S. weapons land in Ukraine

U.S. weapons land in Ukraine

Ukraine has received a second shipment of weapons from the United States as part of $200 million in defensive aid promised amid fears of a Russian invasion.

“The second bird in Kyiv! More than 80 tons of weapons to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities from our friends in the USA! And this is not the end,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in a tweet on Sunday.

While the U.S. and its allies have warned for weeks that Russia is moving closer to a military attack against Ukraine, as it has amassed 100,000 troops along the border, Moscow has denied having plans to invade.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have pressed the Biden administration to quickly send additional military aid to Ukraine.

“We need to be an integral part of doing more than has already been announced, and we need to make sure that if Vladimir Putin takes this step and makes this mistake … it will be a mistake that he will long regret and long remember,” Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) told reporters during a GOP press conference Wednesday.

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In recent weeks, Spain, France, Estonia and the United Kingdom, among others, have provided varying kinds of military support to Ukraine in anticipation of Russian aggression.

The United States has sent approximately $2.7 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula.

In the past year alone, Washington has committed $650 million in security assistance to Kyiv.

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However, the White House has been hesitant to provide more lethal aid in recent months, instead focusing on diplomacy with Moscow.

On Thursday, the U.S. imposed sanctions on four current and former Ukrainian officials believed to be working to assist Russia’s influence effort in Ukraine.

During an interview on CNN on Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said a diplomatic path to ease tensions between Moscow and Kyiv is “preferable.”

But he noted that a “swift, a severe and a united response from us and from Europe” would follow if “a single additional Russian force goes into Ukraine in an aggressive way.”

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