US to send more weapons to Ukraine amid shelling

US to send more weapons to Ukraine amid shelling

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, residential, rural and industrial areas have been heavily shelled.

Pictures from the front lines have revealed the lingering danger left behind by unexploded bombs and other failed weapons, some of which could still detonate.

It has been four months since Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops across the border, sparking the biggest conflict in Europe since World War II.

The fighting has sparked a global energy and food crisis, and the death toll is in the thousands, millions of Ukrainians forced to flee their homes.

After failing to win a quick victory by capturing the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, Vladimir Putin's army shifted its focus to taking control of eastern Ukraine in what has become a war of attrition.

Russian forces recently renewed their efforts to attack the north-eastern city of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, killing dozens in shelling attacks.

US officials say an additional $450 million in security assistance will be provided to Ukraine, including more long-range rocket systems.

The package is set to include:

Ukrainian authorities said on Thursday that the first tranche of HIMARS had arrived.

Kyiv hopes that HIMARS can help turn the tide in the battle with Russia, because it is a powerful long-range weapon system.

Ukraine needs the HIMARS systems to match the range of Russian rocket systems that are widely used to pummel Ukrainian positions in Donbas.

US officials said that while HIMARS is important for Ukrainian forces, no single weapon system alone can change the war.

The National Security Council's coordinator for strategic communications, John Kirby, said Washington was working with Kyiv to identify which types of weapons could best meet their needs in each package.

He said at the White House briefing that the reason we do it like this is to keep it relevant to what's happening on the battlefield.

Washington said it received assurances from Kyiv that the longer-range weapons would not be used to attack Russian territory, fearing an escalation of the conflict.

Moscow has warned that it will strike targets in Ukraine that they have not yet been hitting if the West supplies longer-range missiles to Ukraine for use in high-precision mobile rocket systems.

The latest package came after US President Joe Biden announced last week that there would be an injection of $1 billion in weapons for Ukraine that includes anti-ship rocket systems, artillery rockets, howitzers and ammunition.