Small Arms And Ammunition From The United States Arrive In Ukraine

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(CNN) – Part of a $ 60 million security assistance package, which includes small arms and ammunition, was delivered to Ukraine on Thursday, according to a State Department official in the Office of Political-Military Affairs, but a final delivery containing four mortar radars is scheduled for early next year.

President Joe Biden approved the package on September 1 when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the White House. The assistance included lethal items, such as Javelin anti-tank missiles, as well as non-lethal items, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday.


The security package is designed to bolster Ukraine’s self-defense capabilities, especially in light of the surge in Russian forces near the country’s borders. The United States has watched the moves with growing concern, and US officials have reached out to their European and NATO counterparts to coordinate a response should Russian President Vladimir Putin decide to invade Ukraine.

This year, the United States has provided roughly $ 450 million in security assistance to Ukraine, Kirby said, including items that arrived this week. Since 2014, when Russia invaded and occupied the Crimean Peninsula, the United States has provided more than $ 2.5 billion in aid to Ukraine.

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On Tuesday, Biden warned Putin, in a virtual meeting that at times turned tense, about the invasion of Ukraine, and the administration is preparing a series of tough economic sanctions in case Russian forces attack.

The US military also helps train Ukrainian forces.

In November, about 150 members of the Florida National Guard Gator Task Force deployed to Ukraine as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, replacing the Washington National Guard. The training group, established in 2015, was designed to enhance Ukraine’s defensive capabilities.

In addition to Task Force Gator, the European Special Operations Unit has an “important role” in training and advising Ukrainian special forces through exercises, communication and coordination “at every echelon,” the Pentagon said in a released Tuesday.

The Pentagon did not disclose how many special forces there were in Ukraine due to operational security concerns.

“Training with our Ukrainian partners cultivates trust, strengthens preparedness and develops relationships, which in turn promotes peace and stability across Europe,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Anton Semelroth said in the statement.

The Pentagon did not go into detail about the timelines for training, operations or deployments, nor would it say whether the schedules have changed in light of the accumulation of Russian forces near Ukraine.

Marines from Europe and the region operate across the continent for training and exercises, the Pentagon said, and thousands of Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force will participate next year in the biannual Cold Response exercise in Norway.

The US Army in Europe and Africa trains in Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Germany, the Netherlands, and Greece, while the 4th Security Forces Assistance Brigade has rotating teams in Georgia, Latvia, and Macedonia. North, Poland and Romania.

The 164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade of the Florida National Guard is located in Ansbach, Germany.

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CNN’s Jennifer Hansler contributed to this report.