US to send $425 million in aid to Ukraine, US officials say

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is expected to deliver $425 million in new military aid to Ukraine for its fight against Russia, including about $300 million in long-term funding to buy laser-guided munitions designed to take out drones, U.S. officials said Thursday.

According to officials, the long-term money will be provided through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which funds contracts for larger weapons systems that need to be either built or modified by defense companies.

In addition, the Biden administration will send about $125 million in weapons and equipment through presidential drawdown authority, which pulls weapons from existing U.S. stockpiles. According to officials, the weapons will include munitions for High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), as well as artillery rounds, anti-tank missiles, demolition equipment and cold weather gear.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the aid has not yet been publicly announced. An announcement is expected on Friday.

This would be the 50th package of aid pulled from Pentagon shelves and it resembles an aid package about a week ago that was for $150 million.

The smaller totals for the drawdowns come as Pentagon funding for the Ukraine war shrinks. President Joe Biden has requested nearly $106 billion in supplemental funding that includes money for Ukraine, Israel's war against Hamas, U.S. efforts to counter China, and additional security at the border with Mexico. Congress has not acted on it yet in the face of growing Republican resistance.

The aid is meant to provide Ukrainian forces with more cold-weather gear and munitions to help carry on the fight against Russian forces into the winter months. Both sides have been trading airstrikes and drone attacks, including in the southeast.