As war approached, US armed Ukraine to strike Russian planes and tanks and prepare for urban combat, according to declassified mailing list

Taken together, the the variety, volume and power of firepower deployed in the war zone illustrates how the United States sought to prepare the Ukrainian military for a hybrid war against Russia, same because President Biden has expressly ruled out the insertion of American troops in the conflict.

“It’s an ongoing process. We are always, always looking at what Ukraine needs, and we have been doing that for years now,” a senior defense official told reporters on Friday on condition of anonymity in accordance with established ground rules. by the Pentagon. “We have just accelerated our process of identifying needs and also accelerated our consultations with Ukrainians, speaking to them daily, as opposed to the periodic meetings that we did before this crisis.

John Kirby, the Pentagon’s top spokesman, declined to comment. The list of material reviewed by The Post generally follows the administration’s broad public statements about the transfers. It does not contain any designated classified information.

Although Ukrainian fighters succeeded in slowing down the invasion, Russian forces continued to make gains by attacking urban areas. The capital, Kiev, and Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, came under heavy shelling. Russian troops are also closing in on the strategic port city of Mariupol on the Sea of ​​Azov and pushing from Crimea towards Ukraine’s other major port city, Odessa.

Many experts say that despite the Ukrainian military’s efforts to wear down Russian forces, the war is destined to turn into a street fight, especially if Moscow is able to assert control over key cities. The mailing list suggests that the Biden administration anticipated that Ukraine would need to arm itself for a multi-pronged invasion.

This affirms that the Biden administration sent Stinger man-portable air defense systems, or MANPADS, to Ukraine in the past few days, weapons that would help soldiers target Russian planes. These were supplied alongside shipments of Javelin missiles and launchers, a mainstay of military assistance to Ukraine since 2018, as well as ammunition.

About $240 million of the $350 million in military aid approved at the end of February has already been transferred to Ukraine, according to a senior defense official.

The Pentagon declined to specify the amount or confirm the full list. of military equipment supplied to Ukraine since Russian threats against the country escalated sharply over the winter. US officials raised concerns about identifying the capabilities Ukrainians have.

The United States is one of 14 countries that have provided security assistance to Ukraine, some of which includes equipment originally provided to other U.S. allies but approved for transfer to Ukraine. . These third-party transfers include anti-armour and anti-aircraft systems, according to the list reviewed by The Post.

Over the past year, the United States has provided more than $1 billion in military assistance, including nine Island-class patrol boats and five Mi-17 transport helicopters, counter-mortar radars, secure radios, electronics, medical equipment, vehicles and a steady supply of Javelin missile systems.

Ukraine had already received 210 Javelins under the State Department’s Foreign Military Funding Program in 2018 and purchased an additional 150 Javelins which arrived in 2020.

The United States has provided Ukraine about $3 billion in military aid since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

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