The United States is providing $350 million in U.S. equipment and ammunition in its latest aid package for Ukraine, as European Union foreign and defense ministers meet Monday in Brussels to finalize a plan to supply Ukraine with ammunition while replenishing their own ammunition stocks.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the 34th presidential drawdown of U.S. military weapons stocks for Ukraine on Monday. Three military officials tell VOA the package includes more surface-to-surface Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets to use in Ukraine's High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), more 155mm ammunition for Howitzers and additional 25mm rounds.
Blinken said the package also includes more ammunition for Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, HARM missiles, anti-tank weapons and riverine boats.
"Russia alone could end its war today. Until Russia does, we will stand united with Ukraine for as long as it takes," Blinken said.
Long-range rockets for HIMARS, known as ATACMS, are not included in this package, according to officials.
A military official told VOA the U.S. ammunition package was being made in tandem with the efforts that EU partners were making to address Ukraine's need for more ammunition on the battlefield as it fights the full-scale Russian invasion that began more than a year ago.
The EU's $2 billion proposal includes work to increase the bloc's production of ammunition in order to better secure long-term supplies.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has encouraged members to approve the plan, saying Ukraine needs deliveries of more artillery ammunition to happen faster.
Putin Visits Occupied Mariupol in Ukraine After Stop in Crimea
Putin in Ukraine
The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Russian-occupied Ukrainian port city of Mariupol late Saturday after a stopover in the Crimean Peninsula to mark the ninth anniversary of Moscow's illegal annexation of the territory in 2014.
Video showed Putin chatting with residents after earlier visiting an art school and a children's center in Crimea.
The visits came after the International Criminal Court Friday issued a warrant for Putin's arrest on war crimes charges for Russia's seizure of Ukrainian children during its 13-month invasion. Putin has not commented on the charges and the Kremlin has called the allegations "legally null and void."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has demanded Russia's withdrawal from Crimea and all areas it has occupied in the eastern regions of Ukraine, but the ground war in Ukraine's eastern regions has to a large degree stalemated, with neither side gaining much territory.
Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address Sunday that the warrant represented a turning point in the conflict, and that Russia would be held responsible "for every strike on Ukraine, for every destroyed life, for every deported Ukrainian child... And, of course, for every manifestation of destabilization of the world caused by Russian aggression."
Putin's visit to war-torn Ukraine was his first since the February 2022 invasion. Numerous Western leaders supporting Ukraine, including U.S. President Joe Biden, have visited Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital that Putin tried - and failed - to capture in the earliest weeks of the war.
Mariupol was one of the centers of fighting in the first months of the war, although when Russia took full control last May, only about 100,000 residents remained of the city's prewar population of 450,000.
Some material in this report came from The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.