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U.S. Pledges Additional $2 Billion In Security Assistance To Ukraine

The U.S. Defense Department has announced an additional $2 billion in "security assistance" for Ukraine as Russia's full-scale invasion of its neighbor enters its second year.

The Pentagon said in a statement on February 24, the first anniversary of the Kremlin's unprovoked invasion, the package includes ammunition for HIMARS rocket systems and other weaponry, high-tech drones, mine clearing equipment, and funds for training.

"One year ago today, Russia launched an unprovoked and indefensible full-scale invasion of its peaceful and democratic neighbor Ukraine," the Pentagon said in a statement.

"One year on, the commitment of the United States, together with some 50 countries who have rallied to rush urgently needed assistance to Ukraine, has only strengthened," it added.

Since the launch of the invasion, the United States has provided more than $32 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, according to the Pentagon.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a separate statement on February 24 that aid and support for Ukraine in its fight to repel Russian troops will remain "steadfast."

"Russia launched an unprovoked and indefensible invasion of its peaceful and democratic neighbor Ukraine -- a cruel war of choice that has killed thousands of innocent Ukrainians, forced millions more from their homes, left countless Ukrainians wounded or traumatized, and inflicted tragedy and terror on a sovereign U.N. member state," he said in the statement.

"Putin thought that Ukraine's defenses would collapse, that America's resolve would falter, and that the world would look the other way. He was wrong. One year later, Ukraine's brave defenders have not wavered, and neither has our commitment to support them for as long as it takes," he added.

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By RFE/RL

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