WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. announced Wednesday that it will send $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine, the largest single tranche of weapons and equipment since the war began.
The effort is intended to help stall Russia’s slow but steady march to conquer the eastern Donbas region.
The aid includes anti-ship missile launchers, howitzers, and more rounds for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems that U.S. forces are training Ukrainian troops on now. In addition, Ukraine will get night-vision devices and secure radios.
The aid comes as U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin convened a meeting in Brussels of more than 45 nations to discuss support for Ukraine.
Austin met with Ukraine's minister of defense and encouraged other countries to step up their support.
“We can’t afford to let up, and we can’t lose steam,” Austin said, according to The New York Times.
He added, "We must intensify our shared commitment to Ukraine self-defense, and we must push ourselves even harder to ensure that Ukraine can defend itself.”
The U.S. how now committed more than $5.6 billion since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, according to the Dept. of Defense.