WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The U.S. is sending its largest aid package yet to Ukraine, just as the country marks six months since the war began.
Wednesday was Independence Day in Ukraine – a country that has now spent half a year fighting for that independence.
“I don’t think anybody wanted, certainly, to get to this point where we’re six months into brutal fighting in Ukraine,” White House National Security Coordinator John Kirby said.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced a new $3 billion package of military aid for Ukraine. This is the largest single package yet.
“The president has been very clear that we’re going to continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Kirby said.
The weapons in the new package will come from defense contractors instead of U.S. stockpiles. This could take some time and defense officials say this is intentionally part of a longer-term strategy.
“They will form the backbone of a robust future Ukrainian force capable of defending Ukraine for years to come,” Pentagon official Dr. Colin Kahl said.
George Washington Professor Robert Orttung predicts the new aid will be crucial to Ukraine’s efforts.
“The new weapons that the U.S. is sending are going to have a big impact as Ukraine organizes a counteroffensive,” Orttung said.
He doesn’t expect U.S. support to end any time soon.
“As Ukrainians continue to hold their own or make small advances, you know Americans like a scrappy underdog,” Orttung said.
Kirby says U.S. support extends beyond military efforts.
“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that they succeed on the battlefield, but just as importantly that President Zelensky can succeed at the negotiating table if and when this ever gets to a diplomatic solution,” Kirby said.