US announces 370 million euro package of weapons for Ukraine

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Copyright Sebastian Apel/AP

By Euronews with AP

Published on 11/05/2024 – 11:26 Share this article

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Washington says it’s intended, in part, to help Ukraine fend off the surging Russian effort to capture Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city.

The package is the third instalment of aid since late April, following congressional approval after months of delay. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, addressing the escalating situation on Thursday, reassured the nation of incoming US weaponry, ensuring confidence in their ability to fight off Russia. 

Included in the package are rockets, patrol vehicles and anti-radiation missiles and they’re  coming from existing US stockpiles so they can get more quickly to the war front.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby emphasised that the aid aims to bolster Ukraine’s defences against Russia, particularly in Kharkiv, where Russian attacks are frequent. While acknowledging potential further Russian advances, Kirby expressed confidence that the influx of US assistance would fortify Ukraine throughout 2024.

A police officer examines fragments of a guided bomb after the Russian air raid in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 30, 2024.
A police officer examines fragments of a guided bomb after the Russian air raid in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 30, 2024.Andrii Marienko/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

On Friday Ukraine had to rush reinforcements to its northeastern Kharkiv region to hold off a Russian attempt to breach local defences, authorities said, signalling a tactical switch in the war by Moscow that Ukrainian officials had been expecting for weeks.

Kharkiv’s regional governor, Oleh Syniehubov, said intense overnight shelling had targeted Vovchansk, a city with a prewar population of about 20,000 that is less than five kilometres from the Russian border. The barrage, which used powerful guided aerial bombs, artillery, rockets, tanks and mortars, killed at least one civilian and wounded five others, prompting authorities to begin evacuating about 3,000 people.

Then, around dawn, Russian infantry tried to penetrate Ukrainian defences near Vovchansk, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry said, adding that it had deployed reserve units to fend off the attack.

Russian military bloggers said the assault could mark the start of a Russian attempt to carve out a “buffer zone” that President Vladimir Putin vowed to create earlier this year to halt frequent Ukrainian attacks on Belgorod and other Russian border regions.

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