Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov confirmed on Twitter Sunday that the Kyiv government received a second arms shipment from the United States.
Why is this important: With diplomatic talks failing to produce a de-escalation in the brewing crisis, a Russian invasion of the country could be increasingly likely.
- Even though Ukraine’s military has improved since 2014, it still wouldn’t be up to a full-scale Russian invasion, writes Axios’ Zachary Basu.
- The United States and its allies hope Western weapons, training and the threat of financial sanctions can help deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from invading.
The big picture: “The second bird in Kiev! Over 80 tons of weapons to strengthen the defense capabilities of Ukraine from our American friends! And this is not the end,” Reznikov tweeted, along with photos of the cache.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
- The weapons are part of a $200 million security assistance package that President Biden authorized in December.
- Friday evening, the American Embassy in Ukraine tweeted that the first batch of American weapons had arrived in Kiev. “This shipment includes approximately 200,000 pounds of lethal weapons, including ammunition for Ukraine’s frontline defenders.”
Go further: Who is arming Ukraine: US, UK, Baltic States, but not Germany