Pentagon to send Ukraine $150 million military assistance package

The Pentagon announced plans on Friday to send Ukraine $150 million in military assistance that will include counter-artillery radar, counter-drone technology and electronic warfare equipment, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The move comes as tensions continue to climb between Russia and Ukraine and days before a summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Flashback: In 2014, the Russian government invaded and seized Ukraine’s Crimea region, backing a pro-Russian separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine that killed over 14,000 people.

  • In recent months, Ukraine and Russia have taken shots at each other amid a surge in fighting in Ukraine’s Donbas. In what it called a defensive operation, Russia amassed troops on its border with Ukraine and in Crimea, per Reuters.

Details: The new funds, which were already committed by Congress, join $125 million already set aside for Ukraine.

  • The Pentagon said the assistance includes capabilities “to enhance the lethality, command and control and situational awareness of Ukraine’s forces,” according to Reuters.

  • The United States will also provide training and equipment to bolster Ukrainian Air Force bases.

The big picture: Biden reassured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday that he will stand up for Ukraine’s sovereignty.

  • A Ukraine defense memo leaked in April revealed that Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine’s economy, Axios’ Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu report.

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