US transfers 85 out of 90 howitzers to Ukraine
The United States, as part of its plans to boost Ukraine's military capabilities amid the ongoing war in the country, has sent nearly 100 howitzers to Kiev, ignoring Russia's request not to do so.
The United States has transferred over 85 out of the 90 M777 howitzers that had been pledged for Ukraine during the ongoing war, a senior US defense official revealed on Monday amid calls from Russia to halt arms shipments to Kiev as it would only make the situation worse.
"I can report that almost all the 90 howitzers are in Ukraine, more than 85 of them," the official told a press briefing.
He also underlined that Kiev has already started using the howitzers in combat, though "not all of them."
However, the official said, "we know that some of them are, and the feedback we're getting from the Ukrainians is that they are very valuable."
The United States had committed a total of 90 M777s or 155mm howitzers to Kiev as part of the last two presidential drawdown authorities in a bid to further expand the Ukrainian military capabilities.
The deliveries of howitzers came as it was revealed that the United States has been training Ukrainian military personnel on using the equipment in several locations in Europe, including Germany.
The US, the senior official added, will use the remaining $100 million in presidential drawdown funds.
"We still have a lot of the $100 million left and I'm sure we will use it. It's just a matter of how we work it out with Ukrainians," the official said.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, the United States had already given Kiev some $1 billion in economic aid, in addition to an additional $500 million cleared last week, not to mention the military aid the United States gave to Kiev since Biden took office.
The latest military aid package, worth some $800 million, made for a total of $2.4 billion in military aid the past month alone, and a total of $3.2 billion since Biden took office, according to figures provided by the White House.
Since the start of the war, the United States has deployed more than 100,000 of its troops to NATO member states, and the European Union also chipped in, sending $500 million worth of arms and equipment to Kiev.
Germany is pondering giving armored vehicles to Slovenia in return for a shipment of Soviet-made T-72 tanks to Ukraine in light of mounting pressures on Berlin to pump more arms to Kiev as the war in the country unfolds.
Following these reports, The Washington Post reported Moscow sent a formal diplomatic note to the United States warning that Washington and Brussels' arms shipments were adding fuel to the fire of the war in Ukraine, stressing that this matter could bring upon "unpredictable consequences".