The Biden administration is expected to announce Wednesday its largest security package to Ukraine to date valued at $3 billion. The announcement will coincide with the six-month anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The package will come from the Ukraine Security Assistance (USAI) funds process, according to a U.S. official, which means the U.S. will buy the weapons through contracts instead of drawing from existing Defense Department inventory and sending them immediately.
The administration has used the USAI process in previous security packages for items like medium-range air defense systems, surveillance drones and counter-artillery radar systems. The time it takes for the weapons to get to Ukraine depends on industry’s production lines.
The announcement of the package is expected Wednesday, which is Independence Day for Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned against public Independence Day celebrations due to fears that Russia could conduct “particularly ugly” attacks.
A woman holds the flag of Ukraine while looking over a row of destroyed Russian military vehicles on display at Maidan Square in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022.
David Goldman / AP
The State Department issued an alert Monday that Russia might step up its efforts to launch strikes against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days.
The occasion comes as the war grinds on in southern and eastern Ukraine.
A senior defense official told reporters last week that Russia is seeing “a complete and total lack of progress.” The official noted the Ukrainians are successfully striking Russian capabilities which could have a long term effect, but they haven’t retaken significant territory from Russia.
CBS News reporter covering the Pentagon.