WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House announced a new $3.75 billion military aid package Friday to help Ukraine and its eastern NATO neighbors as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues.

The latest tranche of assistance will include for the first time bradley armored vehicle to Ukraine. The armored carrier is used to transport troops to battle and is known as a “tank-killer” because it can fire anti-tank missiles.

The largest ever US aid package for Kyiv includes $2.85 billion drop According to the White House, Pentagon shares will be sent directly to Ukraine and $225 million in foreign military funding to build long-term capabilities and support the modernization of Ukraine’s military. It also includes $682 million in foreign military funding for European allies, which will help Ukraine offset donations of military equipment they have made.

Announcing the aid, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “The war is at a critical point and we must do everything possible to help Ukrainians resist Russian aggression.”

Direct aid to Ukraine includes 50 Bradleys as well as 500 anti-tank missiles and 250,000 rounds of ammunition for the carriers. The US is also sending 100 M113 armored personnel carriers, 55 mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, or MRAPS, and 138 Humvees, as well as high mobility artillery rocket systems and air defense systems and other weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition for artillery . According to the Pentagon.

John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said Bradley would be particularly useful to Ukraine in the ongoing heavy fighting in the largely rural countryside of eastern Ukraine.

“It’s very much tied to the warfare that we’re seeing on the ground now and that we expect to see throughout the winter months,” Kirby said.

A US Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) patrols the countryside near al-Malikiyyah (Dereik) in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province on February 2, 2021. (Photo by Delil Soleiman/AFP via Getty Images)

DELIL SOLEIMAN via Getty Images

The new US package was detailed by the White House and the Pentagon as Germany announced It will supply about 40 Marder armored personnel carriers to Ukraine in the first quarter of this year.

Germany announced his intention to send Murder APC after a phone call between Chancellor Olaf Scholz And President Joe Biden on Thursday.

“These 40 vehicles should be ready in the first quarter itself so that they can be handed over to Ukraine,” Scholz spokesman Stephan Hebestreit told reporters in Berlin. Germany plans to train Ukrainian forces to use the vehicles, and Hebestreit said experts expect the process to take about eight weeks.

Germany has already committed significant military aid, including howitzers, Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns and an IRIS-T surface-to-air missile system, with three more to follow this year Are ready.

Scholz has long been wary of pressing for supplies of tanks such as the Marder and other, heavy Western-built vehicles, insisting that Germany would not go it alone with such deliveries. Officials noted that other countries had made no supplies. But this week France, America And Germany announced plans to send comparable armored vehicles that lacked tanks.

Germany last year backed deals in which eastern NATO allies sent familiar Soviet-era equipment to Ukraine, in return for Germany supplying those countries with more modern Western-made equipment.

Habestrait said talks had been ongoing since mid-December with the US and others on how to help Ukraine move forward. He said supplies of Soviet-made equipment were likely “slowly running out”, while the situation was changing with large-scale Russian attacks on infrastructure in Ukraine and fighting could escalate as the weather heats up.

Several German lawmakers inside and outside of Ukraine and Scholz’s governing coalition have also demanded the delivery of Leopard 2 battle tanks from Germany. The move to murder APCs advocated getting rid of Leopard and vowed to press the point.

But Habestreit said battle tanks were not an issue in Thursday’s call between Scholz and Biden. He added that Germany would stick to its principles of supporting Ukraine as firmly as possible, while not going it alone on arms supplies and ensuring that NATO does not become a party to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Germany also said on Thursday it would follow the US in supplying Ukraine with Patriot air defense missile batteries. Habestraet said this was at the request of the US and is expected in the first quarter as well.

This comes on top of the Patriot system that Germany has sent or plans to send to Slovakia and Poland.

Associated Press reporters Seung Min Kim and Amer Madhani contributed reporting.

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