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U.S. to send $250M in military aid to Ukraine

U.S. to send $250M in military aid to Ukraine
On Thursday the Pentagon announced it will send $250 million in military aid to Ukraine. File Photo by Shutterstock

June 11 (UPI) -- The Department of Defense announced Thursday that it plans to send $250 million in military aid to Ukraine.

Funds from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative will finance additional training, equipment and advisory efforts to "strengthen Ukraine's capacity to more effectively defend itself against Russian aggression," according to the Pentagon.

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The announcement formalizes reports this winter that the DoD would release additional aid to Ukraine.

"The United States remains steadfast in its support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders," the Pentagon said Thursday in a press release.

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According to the Pentagon, the new funding was conditional on Ukraine's progress on defense reforms, and is intended to provide equipment to support ongoing training programs and operational needs.

These needs include enhancement of "defensive lethal capabilities" in the maritime domain, air surveillance systems and command and control and survivability -- as well as "cyber defense and strategic communications to counter Russian cyber offensive operations and misinformation."

Over the past year, the Pentagon said, Ukraine has taken "considerable steps" to strengthen civilian control of the military, reform military command and control structures and transition to a Western-style human resources management system.

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Ukraine also has worked with key NATO allies, from which it has received increased security assistance support, the Pentagon said.

The Trump administration's failure to release aid to the country was at the center of Congress' impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump earlier this year.

In January, the Government Accountability Office found the administration had withheld $214 million in military aid Congress had already appropriated for Ukraine.

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