The United States has already delivered more than two-thirds of the weapons it promised to Ukraine in late February, whose troops it uses “effectively” to push back the Russians, a Pentagon official said Friday.
On February 26, Washington authorized $350 million in military equipment — the largest package in US history — to fortify Kiev against the Russian invasion, which began last week.
An official from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs told Congress this week that the package was intended to “deliver urgently needed ammunition, Javelin anti-tank missiles and the Stinger man portable air defense systems to Ukraine.”
Her testimony for the first time officially confirmed America’s delivery of the high-tech Stingers, which can be used to shoot down low-flying aircraft.
The Pentagon official told reporters that of the $350 million, “we have already provided the Ukrainians with $240 million of that package, including some of the most needed capabilities such as anti-armor capabilities.”
“You can see how fast we are going to get those capabilities in the field,” she added, noting that there was “no evidence of any Russian interference” to hinder arms deliveries.
Washington had previously authorized $60 million in military aid to Ukraine last fall, followed by another $200 million in December for weapons and ammunition.
Most of that aid has been distributed among Ukrainian troops, the senior official told reporters on Friday.
She added that US authorities have been “hugely impressed with how effectively the Ukrainian Armed Forces have used the equipment we supplied them.”
“They are able to disperse the equipment very quickly” on the battlefield and have “slowed down the Russian advance,” she added.
Ukrainian troops received US training, the official said, including in December and early January, as Russia’s threats against its neighbor became more acute.
“The vast majority of what we have delivered, they are already known,” the official said.
She added that 14 other countries had also supplied weapons to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on Feb. 24, and that US President Joe Biden had asked Congress for a new package to provide even more US aid.