The United States is planning to send Ukraine about $1.2 billion in long-term military aid to help the country defend against a barrage of drone, missile and surface-to-air missile attacks from Russia, according to US officials .
The officials, who spoke anonymously, told the Associated Press that the aid package will likely be announced on Tuesday and that the money will be provided under Ukraine’s Security Assistance Initiative.
With this latest package, the United States will provide Ukraine with nearly $37 billion in military aid since Russia’s invasion in late February 2022.
But unlike other equipment, weapons and munitions already shipped from Pentagon stockpiles, the latest package is set to be spent over the next few months or even years to secure Ukraine’s future security needs.
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The assistance initiative will finance HAWK air defense systems, air defense munitions and air defense drones. It will also purchase artillery, rockets, satellite imagery assistance and funding for ongoing maintenance and spare parts for various systems, according to officials.
Polls in March showed support for more military aid to Ukraine declining slowly and steadily in the United States, defying President Biden’s pledge to support the regime “for as long as necessary.”
Polls by the Associated Press, Pew Research and Fox News show growing skepticism about the massive aid packages the Biden administration has made a habit of providing to Ukraine. Support for such aid among Americans has dropped from 60% in May 2022 to just 48% today, according to the AP.
The share of Americans who say the US has already given too much to Ukraine has risen from just 7% in March 2022 to 26% today, according to Pew.
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Ukraine, meanwhile, is preparing to launch a spring offensive against Russian forces, with air defense a persistent problem.
Ukraine’s air defenses shot down 35 Iranian-made drones over Kiev in Russia’s latest nighttime assault, officials said on Monday. The wreckage of a drone hit a two-story apartment building in western Kiev’s Svyatoshynskyi district, while more debris hit a car parked nearby, setting it on fire, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a Telegram post.
Russian shelling of 127 targets in northern, southern and eastern parts of Ukraine killed three civilians, Ukraine’s defense ministry said.
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Facing economic sanctions and limits on its supply chains as a result of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has regularly turned to Iranian Shahed drones to bolster its firepower. And US aid packages, including more immediate military support and weapons, have included systems for shooting down and otherwise defeating drones.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.