Russia’s embassy in the US condemned the new arms shipment as “the height of hypocrisy”
The US government has announced another round of military aid for Ukraine worth $250 million, including artillery shells, air defense munitions and mine-clearing equipment, among other gear. The latest weapons transfer comes as Kiev attempts a wave of attacks on Russian cities as part of its straggling summer offensive.
The State Department outlined the new lethal aid on Tuesday, noting that Ukraine would receive additional munitions for the HIMARS rocket system, AIM-9M air defense missiles, Javelin and other anti-tank weapons, as well as 3 million rounds of small arms ammunition.
Russia’s embassy in Washington later condemned the weapons transfer as “the height of hypocrisy,” saying US officials “will not give up the concept of fighting Russia to the last Ukrainian.”
The embassy went on to connect the aid to recent comments by US Senator Mitt Romney, who declared that American assistance to Kiev was helping to “weaken” both Russia and China at a bargain price, calling the aid “the best national defense spending I think we’ve ever done.”
“Without a second thought, [Romney] said bluntly that ‘the United States is diminishing and devastating the Russian military for a very small amount of money. We are losing no lives in Ukraine,’” the embassy continued. “His words dot the i’s and cross the t’s. The lives of citizens of other countries do not matter much.”
Drawn from existing stockpiles, the new $250 million arms package brings direct US military aid to Kiev to more than $43 billion since the conflict with Russia escalated last year. Despite significant support from Western sponsors, however, Ukrainian forces have struggled to reclaim territory in their much vaunted summer counteroffensive.
Though Kiev is aiming to capture a swath of land toward the Azov Sea coast in hopes of severing Moscow’s land bridge into Crimea, behind the scenes US intelligence officials have raised doubts about its chances for success, according to the Washington Post. Instead, officials believe Ukraine will fall “well short” of its “principal objective.”
Amid lagging efforts to reclaim land, Ukrainian forces have increasingly turned to strikes further into Russian territory, including a series of attempted drone bombings in Moscow in recent weeks. Early on Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said air defenses continued to intercept UAVs, and had repelled several coordinated attacks across five different regions.