This Week in the Russia-Ukraine War (Week 45 – December 23)

A Patriot Surface-to-Air Missile Launcher. Image – Mark Holloway CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

A snapshot of recent news from sources around the world on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

As part of President Zelensky’s visit to the White House, the Department of Defense  announced $1.85 billion in additional security assistance for Ukraine, including Patriot air defense missile systems.  In total, the United States has now committed more than $21.9 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.

Russia continues to launch air strikes on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure.  Further attacks occurred on December 19.  Officials in Kyiv said more than 20 Iranian-made attack drones targeted the city.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky  is pushing European leaders to provide a wide array of weapon systems as the conflict continues.   Key items on the list include air defense systems, tanks, and ammunition.

France is ramping up its arms offerings to Ukraine.  Over the next few weeks, Ukraine will be receiving Crotale NG air defense missile systems, LRU M270 rocket launchers, and more CAESAR 155mm self-propelled howitzers.

The U.S. plans to expand its effort to train Ukrainian forces next year. Around 500 Ukrainian soldiers a month will pass through the U.S. training initiative taking place in Germany. The move comes as Washington has expanded the numbers and types of weapons flowing into Ukraine.

A U.S. omnibus appropriations bill includes $45 billion in emergency supplemental aid for Ukraine, which is around $7 billion more than the amount sought by the Biden administration. The supplemental includes around $28 billion in security assistance funding that will pass through the U.S. Department of Defense, including $9 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, $11.9 billion to replenish U.S. equipment donated to Ukraine, and $6.9 billion for European Command operations and support.

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