U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv on Thursday U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv on Thursday 

U.S. pledges billions to Ukraine as fighting against Russia intensifies

The United States says it will give nearly $2.7 billion in military aid and related assistance to war-torn Ukraine and more than a dozen neighbors and regional partners. Thursday's announcements by the U.S. government were made in Kyiv and Germany at the latest meeting of allied defense ministers supporting Ukraine in its war against Russia.

By Stefan J. Bos

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says he will notify Congress that the United States wants to send another $2 billion in long-term military aid to Ukraine and 18 other countries at risk of Russian attacks.

He spoke in Ukraine's capital Kyiv while defense ministers of allied nations discussed how to step up their support for Ukraine, where the Russian invasion has entered its seventh month.

Besides the two billion dollars announced in Kyiv, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin pledged further military support for Ukraine.

He told defense ministers at the Ramstein Airbase in Germany that U.S. President Joe Biden approved $675 million to bolster Ukraine's defenses and its efforts to reclaim territory occupied by Russian forces. With the latest aid, the total U.S. assistance to Ukraine would reach $13.5 billion since the large-scale Russian invasion in February.

Austin says it's part of broader international efforts to halt Russia's aggression against Ukraine. "Now, we're seeing the demonstrable success of our common efforts on the battlefield," he said.

"And every day, we see the resolve of the allies and partners worldwide who are helping Ukraine resist Russia's illegal, imperial, and indefensible war of conquest," Austin added.

Contact group

He met the so-called Ukraine Defense Contact Group, attended by the Secretary General of the NATO military alliance, Ukraine's defense minister, and ministers from allied countries.

They gathered as Kyiv claimed progress in its counteroffensive against Russia's military. It also admitted attacking targets in the Crimea peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

But as the clashes intensify, so does human suffering. The U.S. has accused Moscow of forcibly deporting up to 1.6 million Ukrainians to Russia or Russian-controlled territory.

They are allegedly subjected to a "filtration" process involving invasive security screening, interrogation, family separation, and detention.

Washington says among those deported are thousands of children — including 1,800 in July. Some were allegedly separated from their parents and placed up for adoption by Russians.

Moscow has denied the accusations, calling them propaganda by Ukraine and its Western backers.

Listen to Stefan Bos' report
08 September 2022, 16:56