More Aid Is on the Way

Unless they do something really stupid, and as long as the Ukrainians keep fighting off their Russian aggressors, we’ll keep backing them. According to Reuters, Washington is sending Ukraine yet another “security assistance” package to help them keep up the fight. This one is said to be valued at $775 million.

President Vladimir Putin still insists that his troops are on a “special military operation” after invading their neighbor in late February of this year. That’s kind of like breaking into your neighbor’s house and, when caught, telling them you are on a “special shopping trip.”

The United States, and many other western nations, are essentially caught up in a proxy war with Russia. A war that is being fought on Ukrainian soil and taking Ukrainian lives. At the time I write this, the conflict has turned into somewhat of a war of attrition, with fighting going on mainly in the south and eastern regions.

Scan Eagle Drone
A Marine ScanEagle drone sits on a catapult, ready to launch. Image Credit: Gunnery Sergeant Shannon Arledge of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

A US defense official, who has chosen to remain unnamed, has told The Washington Post that this latest goodies package includes forty MaxxPro mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles (MRAP), fifteen ScanEagle drones,  2,000 anti-armor rounds, and sixteen 105mm howitzer systems.

On August 8th, acting Pentagon Press Secretary Todd Breasseale announced the list of items approved by the Department of Defense (DoD) to be shipped to Ukraine. He noted that it was “the Biden Administration’s eighteenth drawdown of equipment from DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021.” Breasseale continued:

“It is the largest single drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment utilizing this authority, and this package provides a significant amount of additional ammunition, weapons, and equipment – the types of which the Ukrainian people are using so effectively to defend their country.”

The package includes:

  • 1,000 Javelin and hundreds of AT4 anti-armor systems
  • 50 armored medical treatment vehicles
  • Additional ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)
  • C-4 plastic explosives and demolition equipment
  • Various medical supplies include first aid kits, vital sign monitors, and other medical equipment
  • Claymore antipersonnel mines
  • Munitions for the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile Systems (NASAMS)
  • 20 120mm mortar systems along with 20,000 rounds of mortar ammunition
  • 75,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition

If you’ve been keeping score, this puts our total amount spent on Ukrainian security assistance at $10.6 billion since the beginning of the Biden administration.

Multiple explosions rock a Russian military airfield in Crimea. Video courtesy of YouTube and The Telegraph

Having A Blast In Crimea

According to Reuters, Ukraine has been using long-range missile systems in the past few weeks to launch attacks on military targets deep behind Russian lines in Crimea. Some of the attacks seem to be beyond the range of the weapons systems we have thus far provided to them.

Last evening, The Guardian reports that two Russian villages had to be evacuated when munitions depots were struck in Belgorod Oblast. Regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said in a statement, “An ammunition depot caught fire near the village of Timonovo.” That is less than 30 miles from the Ukraine/Russia border. However, the governor noted that there were no reported casualties.

On the occupied Crimean peninsula, near Belbek airbase, there were reports of at least four explosions. However, Mikhail Razvozhayev, the pro-Russia governor of the city of Sevastopol, told the press, “There is no damage; no one was hurt.” 

Ukrainian forces have strategically used weapons systems such as HIMARS to fire over Russian lines and destroy their ammunition and resupply points.

You absolutely must check out this video. Have you heard the HIMARS song yet? Well, here it is. It’s actually a pretty catchy tune. It goes, “HIMARS! Our trusted ally from America is here. Do you want to meet him?” I can’t do it justice; you have to watch the video. Be forewarned; you’ll catch yourself humming the tune all day.

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Video courtesy of YouTube and Greyshark. The HIMARS tune was penned by Ukrainian soldier Taras Borovok.

An Up and Comer

In yet more HIMARS news, Newsweek reports that a German weapons maker, MBDA, is designing a missile that should be able to aid Ukraine in their battles with Russia. The new missile is called the JFS-M (Joint Fire Support Missile), with a range of up to 186 miles. Two missiles could be placed in HIMARS and four in the M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System).

The missile is sub-sonic, with speeds ranging from 373 mph to 621 mph. It flies at a low altitude and possesses low visibility technology that may allow it to “sneak under the radar” and impact Russian targets unseen.