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Vital US arms and ammo could reach Ukraine in days once Senate passes military aid bill as expected, Pentagon says

Rebecca Rommen   

Vital US arms and ammo could reach Ukraine in days once Senate passes military aid bill as expected, Pentagon says
  • The Pentagon is expediting preparation for a military aid package, awaiting Senate approval.
  • The $95 billion aid bill, expected to pass next week, designates $60 billion for Ukraine.

The Pentagon could rush vital air defense weapons and artillery shells to Ukraine within days if the military aid bill clears the Senate as expected and receives President Joe Biden's signature, said the Department of Defense.

The House of Representatives voted in favor of the bill on Saturday. The bill is widely expected to pass the Senate in the coming days. It generally mirrors a $95.3 billion national security bill passed by the upper chamber in February. President Biden has pledged to sign it into law.

With the Senate approval, officials told The Washington Post that preparations for the assistance package were well underway ahead of the anticipated legislative approvals.

Divisions within the Republican Party, exacerbated by opposition from far-right factions, have led to delays in advancing the funding bill. Indeed, a majority of Republicans voted against the bill, which passed by a 311-112 margin.

The aid allocation earmarks about $60 billion for Ukraine, with additional funds designated for allies, including Israel and key partners in Asia.

According to the Post's insider sources, The Department of Defense has expedited the assembly of this aid package in response to mounting concerns over Ukraine's ability to resist Russian advances.

Top US military officials have warned that any delay in providing support could result in significant territorial losses and devastating casualties for Ukrainian forces.

Russia has been outgunning Ukraine 10 to 1 on artillery

The new aid package addresses critical shortages of Ukrainian units, including 155 mm ammunition for NATO-standard artillery systems and medium-range rocket artillery.

The US could send certain munitions "almost immediately" to Ukraine, according to a US military official, per The Guardian.

Officials in Ukraine have voiced growing frustration over perceived inaction from Washington as the conflict escalates.

Recent setbacks, such as the retreat from Avdiivka and subsequent Russian advances, have left Ukraine needing bolstered support from its allies.

As Ukraine grapples with ammunition shortages, its forces have been rationing existing armaments, with reports indicating that the Russian troops possess a significant advantage in artillery firepower.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last week that his army was facing a profound shell shortage, and Russia was firing 10 times more artillery than Ukraine.

Ukraine's president thanked the House for its decisive bipartisan action on Saturday in a statement on X.

Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said on Thursday that the Pentagon stands ready to rush crucial supplies to Ukraine after clearance from Congress.

"We have a very robust logistics network that enables us to move material very quickly; as we've done in the past, we can move within days," he said.

Earlier this week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on allies to "speed up the delivery of missiles, artillery, and ammunition."

Ukraine is using the weapons we provided to destroy Russian combat capabilities. This makes us all safer."

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