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US to provide Ukraine with four more mobile artillery rocket systems in new $400 million Ukraine security assistance package

<i>Senior Airman Joseph P. LeVeille/U.S. Air Force</i><br/>A High Mobility Artillery Rocket System during a live-fire training mission in Florida on May 10.
Senior Airman Joseph P. LeVeille/U.S. Air Force
A High Mobility Artillery Rocket System during a live-fire training mission in Florida on May 10.

By Ellie Kaufman, Barbara Starr and Aaron Pellish, CNN

The Biden administration will provide Ukraine with four more high mobility artillery rocket systems in the latest security assistance package, according to a senior defense official.

The package is valued at $400 million and is drawing from Presidential Drawdown Authority funding only, meaning the US is sending weapons directly from US stockpiles of weapons.

The package includes four additional rocket systems, additional ammunition for those systems, three tactical vehicles to “recover equipment, support Ukrainian efforts to repair, resupply as the battle continues,” 1,000 rounds of 155 mm artillery ammunition, demolition munitions, counter battery systems, and spare parts and other equipment, the official said.

The 1,000 rounds of 155 mm artillery ammunition that the US is providing to Ukraine in this package is a “new type” of ammunition that the US has not provided to Ukraine previously, the official added.

“It has greater precision, it offers Ukraine precise targeting, precise capability for specific targets, it will save ammunition, it will be more effective due to the precision, so it’s a further evolution in our support for Ukraine in this battle for the Donbas,” the official said.

The US has provided Ukraine with 12 high mobility artillery rocket systems total with the commitment of these additional four systems, the official said. A senior military official said “upwards of 100” Ukrainians have been trained on the systems so far.

Reports that Russians have destroyed two high mobility artillery rocket systems systems are false, the official added.

“The ones that have already been provided are fully accounted for, Ukrainians are still using them in the fight,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the US State Department on Saturday announced an additional humanitarian aid package for Ukraine totaling nearly $368 million.

It will provide food, water, shelter, health care and other humanitarian services to Ukrainians and others affected by Russia’s invasion. The funding will include nearly $288 million through the State Department and an additional $80 million through the US Agency for International Development.

“As we move into the fifth month of Russia’s brutal assault on Ukraine, we continue to call for Russia to end hostilities immediately, facilitate unhindered humanitarian access in Ukraine, and allow sustained safe passage for those who seek to flee to safety. We commend our allies and partners who have welcomed those fleeing the war and welcome the European Union’s decision to extend temporary protection status to Ukrainian citizens, granting them work authorization and access to housing and other services,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Saturday.

The US has provided over $1.28 billion in humanitarian relief to those affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the State Department.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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