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Pentagon to send $ 150 million in military aid to Ukraine

The Pentagon on Friday announced plans to send Ukraine $ 150 million in military aid that will include counter-artillery radar, counter-drone technology and electronic warfare equipment, Reuters reports.

Why is this important: The move comes as tensions continue to mount between Russia and Ukraine and days before a summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Go back: In 2014, the Russian government invaded and seized Ukraine’s Crimea region, supporting a pro-Russian separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine that left more than 14,000 dead.

  • In recent months, Ukraine and Russia have fired at each other amid increased fighting in the Donbass region of Ukraine. In what it called a defensive operation, Russia amassed troops on its border with Ukraine and in Crimea, according to Reuters.

Details: The new funds, already committed by Congress, are in addition to the $ 125 million already earmarked for Ukraine.

  • The Pentagon said the aid includes capabilities “to improve the lethality, command and control and situational awareness of Ukrainian forces,” according to Reuters.

  • The United States will also provide training and equipment to strengthen Ukrainian Air Force bases.

The big picture: Biden reassured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday that he would defend Ukraine’s sovereignty.

  • A Ukraine defense memo leaked in April revealed that Russia was holding last-minute military exercises near Black Sea commercial shipping lanes that threaten to strangle Ukraine’s economy, report Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu of ‘Axios.

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