Second shipment of US military aid arrives in Ukraine
A second planeload of U.S. military aid for Ukraine, with 80 tons of weapons, landed at Boryspil airport outside the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Jan. 23, Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov has said in a tweet.
“The second bird in Kyiv – more than 80 tons of weapons to strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities from our friends in the USA,” Reznikov wrote on Twitter.
The Boeing 747 aircraft left for Kyiv from Frankfurt, Germany, earlier that day, following an earlier delivery of 90 tons of U.S. weapons to Ukraine. The arms shipments are a part of the first package of U.S. military aid to Ukraine in 2022.
Since 2014, the United States has supported Ukraine with aid worth $5.4 billion.
Earlier this January, the U.S. State Department said that Washington is considering sending portable air defense systems – specifically FIM-92 Stingers – to Ukraine. Following talks with Moscow, the White House is reportedly pessimistic about the prospects of averting a new Russian invasion of Ukraine, and is debating expanding U.S. military aid to Kyiv.
These U.S. arms deliveries join additional shipments of light anti-tank weapons from the UK on Jan. 18. The Baltic states, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic have all also provided arms to Ukraine or expressed their readiness to do so.
In a joint statement by Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian defense ministers on Jan. 21, Estonia said it will send Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, with Latvia and Lithuania supplying Kyiv with more Stingers.
Looming Russian invasion
A Russian troop buildup that began in late autumn on the Ukrainian border was first widely reported in early December 2021, with several media outlets speculating that Russia might invade Ukraine with a force of 175,000 troops in early 2022.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has said that a renewed Russian offensive in Ukraine may occur in late January 2022. The situation on Ukraine's eastern border is a matter of deep concern for both U.S. and EU officials. According to U.S. President Joe Biden, the White House is looking at a range of options to dissuade Russia from a potential attack on Ukraine.
Proposed measures include cutting Russia off from the SWIFT international banking system, personal sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle, and a ban on U.S. dollar transactions with Russia.
On Jan. 14, the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that the United States has evidence of Russia planning to conduct various false flag operations in Donbas.
Corroborated by the Pentagon, Psaki said that Moscow sent operatives, trained in explosives and urban combat, into eastern Ukraine, to be used to stage false flag operations that could give Putin a pretext to once again invade Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s military intelligence has revealed that Russian proxy forces have restarted a chemical plant in occupied territory, formerly infamous for causing semi-regular environmental catastrophes, and have imported leaky barrels of ammonia for as-yet-unknown purposes.
The Kremlin denies gearing up for invasion, and has instead accused Ukraine of planning false flag operations, as well as of drawing up plans to use force to restore Kyiv’s control over territories lost since 2014.
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google News