With eye on Russia, Blinken unveils $2 billion in military aid for Ukraine and Europe

Firefighters amid debris of building damaged by shelling in Ukraine
Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze and look for survivors of a Russian attack that heavily damaged a residential building in Slovyansk, Ukraine.
(Leo Correa / Associated Press)

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken made an unscheduled visit to Kyiv on Thursday as the Biden administration announced major new military aid worth more than $2 billion for Ukraine and other European countries threatened by Russia.

In meetings with senior Ukrainian officials, Blinken said the Biden administration would provide $2 billion in long-term foreign military financing to Ukraine and 18 of its neighbors, including NATO members and regional security partners “most potentially at risk for future Russian aggression.”

Pending expected congressional approval, about $1 billion of the package will go to Ukraine, with the rest divided among Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.


The funds will help those countries “deter and defend against emergent threats to their sovereignty and territorial integrity” by enhancing their military integration with NATO and countering “Russian influence and aggression,” the State Department said.

“This assistance demonstrates yet again our unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s future as a democratic, sovereign, and independent state, as well as the security of allies and partners across the region,” the department said.

Foreign Military Financing allows recipients to purchase U.S.-made defense equipment, often depending on their specific needs.

After decades of neglect and the stigma of its Nazi past, Germany warms up to the idea of rebuilding its army, thanks to the war in Ukraine.

Sept. 8, 2022

The financing comes on top of a $675-million package of heavy weaponry, ammunition and armored vehicles for Ukraine alone that Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III announced earlier Thursday at a conference in Germany. That package includes howitzers, artillery munitions, Humvees, armored ambulances, antitank systems and more.

Austin said that “the war is at another key moment,” with Ukrainian forces beginning their counteroffensive in the south of the country. He said that “now we’re seeing the demonstrable success of our common efforts on the battlefield.”


“The face of the war is changing and so is the mission of this contact group,” Austin told the meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, which was attended by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Ukraine’s defense minister as well as officials from allied countries.

Germany and the Netherlands will provide de-mining training to Ukrainian soldiers as well as de-mining equipment, the countries’ defense ministers said on the sidelines of the meeting. The training will be carried out in Germany. The two countries previously joined forces to send howitzers to Ukraine.

Stealth operations and assistance from Ukrainian guerrilla forces pose a growing challenge to Russia’s grip on occupied areas in southeastern Ukraine.

Aug. 9, 2022

Thursday’s contributions bring total U.S. aid to Ukraine to $15.2 billion since Biden took office. U.S. officials said the new commitments were intended to show that American support for the country in the face of Russia’s invasion is unwavering.

The announcements came as fighting between Ukraine and Russia has intensified in recent days, with Ukrainian forces mounting a counteroffensive to retake Russian-held areas in the south and east.

Shelling has continued near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, with the warring sides trading blame again amid urgent calls by the United Nations’ atomic watchdog for the creation of a safe zone to prevent a catastrophe.

On Wednesday, the U.S. accused Moscow of interrogating, detaining and forcibly deporting hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to Russia. Russian officials immediately rejected the claim as “fantasy.”

Before meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Kyiv, Blinken visited the U.S. Embassy and a children’s hospital, where he saw boys and girls who were injured during Russian bombardments.

In the hospital lobby, Blinken also met Patron, a Jack Russell terrier who has helped Ukraine’s military find more than 200 mines laid by Russian forces. Blinken knelt down, petted Patron and presented the dog with treats, saying the canine was “world famous.”

In one ward, Blinken brought a basket of stuffed animals for the children, who quickly dangled the toys in front of Patron to get his attention.

Blinken told parents that “the spirit of your children sends a very strong message around the world.”