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US Defense Secretary: Stakes of Russia's war stretch far beyond Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 24, 2023 2:41 PM 1 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin commemorated the "solemn" one-year anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion on Feb. 24 in a statement, calling it the "most urgent danger to European security" since World War II.

"Today's solemn anniversary is an opportunity for all who believe in freedom, rules, and sovereignty to recommit ourselves to supporting Ukraine's brave defenders for the long haul — and to recall that the stakes of Russia's war stretch far beyond Ukraine," he said.

Austin said that the U.S. has sent $32 billion in defense aid to Ukraine since the start of the full-scale invasion, which includes 1,600 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 8,500 Javelin anti-armor systems, 232 howitzers and more than two million rounds of artillery ammunition.

The U.S. has also pledged 109 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, 31 Abrams tanks, and 90 Stryker armored personnel carriers.

Austin reaffirmed the U.S. government and people's commitment to Ukraine and mourned the Ukrainian lives lost since the start of the full-scale war.

Earlier on Feb. 24, the U.S. government announced a defense aid package worth $2 billion for Ukraine on Feb. 24, the one-year anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion.

The package, provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), includes additional ammunition for HIMARS (High-Mobility Rocket Artillery Systems), 155mm artillery rounds, munitions for laser-guided rocket systems, and funding for training, maintenance, and sustainment of equipment.

Timeline of Russia's all-out war in Ukraine, month by month
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