U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced $100 million in new military aid to Ukraine during his surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday. The move was to pledge America’s unyielding support amid growing concerns about the sustainability of vital U.S. assistance.
Austin announced the package a day after meeting the Ukrainian officials, with the latest tranche including arms such as anti-tank weapons, air-defense interceptors and an additional High Mobility Rocket System (HIMARS).
Austin was accompanied by top U.S. general in Europe and was photographed smiling and shaking hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This trip has been Austin’s first since April 2022.
“The message that I bring you today, Mr. President, is that the United States of America is with you. We will remain with you for the long haul,” Austin told Zelensky after an overnight train ride from Poland to Ukraine.
Austin’s visit to the country was touted as “a very important signal” for Ukraine by Zelensky. “We count on your support.”
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, America has provided more than $44 billion in assistance to Ukraine.
Post his meetings, Austin told the reporters, “I think they are prepared for combat in the winter.”