New U.S. Weapons Package to Ukraine to Counter Russian Assault on Kharkiv

The assistance comes at a time when 67 Ukrainian soldiers reportedly surrendered to Russian forces in Kharkiv
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 03:51 AM, May 25, 2024
  • 415
New U.S. Weapons Package to Ukraine to Counter Russian Assault on Kharkiv
Ukrainian Army's HIMARS air defense system @Ukraine MoD

The Department of Defense (DoD) announced a new security assistance package valued at $275 million today to meet Ukraine's critical security and defense needs amid intensified Russian assaults near Kharkiv.

“This PDA package, which is part of our efforts to help Ukraine repel Russia's assault near Kharkiv, has an estimated value of $275 million. It will provide Ukraine additional capabilities to meet its most urgent battlefield needs,” the Pentagon said in an official release.

This marks the Biden Administration’s fifty-eighth tranche of equipment provided from DoD inventories to Ukraine since August 2021. It is the fifth security assistance package authorized by the President since the signing of the national security supplemental last month, including three Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) packages.

This PDA package aims to bolster Ukraine's defense capabilities with additional precision strike rockets for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), various artillery rounds, air-launched munitions, and anti-tank weapons. The detailed list of equipment includes ammunition for HIMARS, 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds, 60mm mortar rounds, Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles, Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems, precision aerial munitions, small arms and additional rounds of small arms ammunition and grenades, demolition munitions, anti-armor mines, and tactical vehicles for equipment recovery. Furthermore, the package includes helmets, body armor, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) protective equipment, spare parts, maintenance supplies, and other ancillary equipment.

67 Ukrainian soldiers surrender to Russian Forces, Many Near Kharkiv

The Russian Ministry of Defense's weekly report claimed that within a week, 67 Ukrainian servicemen surrendered to Russian military personnel. However, the circumstances of their surrender were not specified.

Additionally, the report highlighted that between May 18 and May 24, Russian forces conducted 49 group strikes on Ukrainian targets, employing precision weapons and drones. These strikes targeted various locations including military airfields, storage facilities for missiles, ammunition, and fuel, as well as workshops involved in the production of unmanned boats and drones. Temporary deployment points for Ukrainian military personnel, foreign mercenaries, and nationalists, as well as enterprises within the Ukrainian military-industrial complex, were also identified as targets during this period.

According to the Ministry, many Ukrainian soldiers, captured during the Russian Armed Forces' advance in the Kharkiv region, have expressed dissatisfaction with the defensive structures' quality. They have also pointed out suspected corruption in the allocation of funds intended for their construction.

Situation in Kharkiv

In Kharkiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced that Ukrainian forces have regained control of border areas previously invaded by Russian troops. This follows a major Russian offensive that began on May 10. Zelenskiy made this statement after meeting with military and regional officials in Kharkiv city.

Contradicting these claims, Russian officials, including parliament member Viktor Vodolatskiy, asserted that Russian forces control over half of the town of Vovchansk, located 5 kilometers inside the border. They also plan to target cities in the Donetsk region once Vovchansk is fully secured.

The Ukrainian military reports halting further Russian advances in Kharkiv and launching counterattacks. Despite the gains, Moscow has intensified its assaults on other fronts. Verification of these battlefield claims remains difficult.

Ukrainian forces describe the situation in Vovchansk as "tense but controlled," with recent air attacks hitting the town. Heavy losses have been reported among Russian troops, who are struggling in street battles and attempting to bring in reinforcements with limited success.

The eastern front remains unstable with intense fighting near Chasiv Yar, Pokrovsk, and Kurakhove. Ukrainian troops are holding their ground, while Russian forces resort to long-distance shelling with limited accuracy.

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