Washington announced that it would send more weapons and ammunition to help Ukraine repel the Russian invasion.
The package worth a total of $725 million (745 million euros) will include HIMARS Mobile Rocket Launchers – the long-range artillery weapons that played a key role in Ukraine’s counter-offensive in september.
It will also include more munitions, armored vehicles and medical supplies, the White House said. The purpose of the package is to replenish Ukrainian supplies rather than providing new types of weapons.
“We will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and independence with extraordinary courage and boundless determination,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
“The capabilities we provide are carefully calibrated to make the most difference on the battlefield for Ukraine.”
This new package comes after an agreement between NATO members to increase the purchase of air defense systems following the Russian bombardment of Ukrainian cities in response to the destruction of the Kerch Bridge linking occupied Crimea to mainland Russia.
US military aid to Ukraine under President Joe Biden has reached $18.3 billion.
Here are the other headlines from the October 15 war in Ukraine.
German Cardinal Condemns Russian Patriarch Kyrill’s ‘Holy War’
Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich has criticized the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kyrill I for supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Marx said Kyrill represented the concept of ‘holy war’, something he thought was ‘behind us’, in comments made in an interview with the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag and reported by the Catholic news agency KNA.
Marx also spoke of differing opinions on German arms deliveries to Ukraine.
“I find it a shame that pacifists are denigrated as idiots,” he said, referring to people who opposed the shipment of arms.
“Arms deliveries are perhaps currently the lesser evil to which one must accept – I personally am not a pacifist and I see no better way,” the cardinal said.
Russian reservists likely to buy their own body armor, UK says
Logistical problems continue to plague Russian forces, according to the British Ministry of Defense’s daily intelligence update.
“Many reservists are likely required to purchase their own body armor,” the update said, saying those who were called up were “almost certainly” even less well-equipped than the troops originally deployed to Ukraine.
The “modern 6B45 vest” was selling online for 40,000 rubles (€657, $638), more than triple its price since April, according to the ministry.
“Endemic corruption and poor logistics remain one of the underlying causes of Russia’s poor performance in Ukraine,” the intelligence update concluded.
Iran denies sending weapons to Russia
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell that Iran was not sending arms to any side in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
“We have defense cooperation with Russia, but our policy on the war in Ukraine is against sending arms to warring parties and supports ending the war and displacing the people,” he said. he said in a phone call with Borrell, according to a statement the department released Saturday.
Kyiv downgraded Tehran’s diplomatic presence in Ukraine after saying Iranian-made Shahid drones had been used by Russian forces.
Catch up on DW’s coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Germany made a “mistake” by standing with NATO while claiming Russia was “doing everything right” in its war of aggression against Ukraine.
DW reports Putin’s full speech from Kazakhstan.
There have been several diverse claims about the cause of the explosion that destroyed the Kerch Bridge that connects mainland Russia with Ukraine’s illegally occupied Crimean peninsula.
DW verifies the facts behind the claims.
ab/dj (Reuters, dpa, AP, AFP, KNA)