U.S. military provides armored vehicles to Ukraine

Ukraine Humvee
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, center left, puts stickers depicting the Urainian flag and coat of arms on U.S. armored Humvees in Boryspil Airport, Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 25, 2015. The first ten U.S. armored Humvees for the Ukrainian army have arrived in Ukraine on a U.S. military cargo aircraft on Wednesday, while U.S. aid for Ukraine's army will include 30 heavily armored Humvees and 200 other regular Humvees, as well as small drones, radios, counter-mortar radars and other equipment. All of the aid is nonlethal, and the drones are not armed. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

As part of a military support program, the U.S. has provided 10 armored vehicles to Ukraine.  The assistance is designed to support the country in its fight again Russian-backed separatist forces.

According to U-T San Diego, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated on Wednesday that additional Humvees were to be delivered in the next 45 days.  His office said the U.S. may eventually provide up to 230 of the vehicles.

The Hill reported that on Monday, the House passed a resolution urging President Barack Obama to provide Ukraine with military assistance.  The measure, which was passed by a 348-48 vote, pushes for the President to give Ukraine lethal weapons, instead of only humanitarian support.

Obama’s administration said it would provide Ukraine’s military with $75 million in nonlethal aid, despite the resolution.  Besides issuing sanctions against Russia, the U.S. has delivered medical kits and blankets.

“We are at a turning point,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce.  “If we allow aggression against Ukraine to stand without us at least offering the Ukrainians the ability to defend themselves, we will signal to the world that our willingness to defend the post-World War II order is crumbling.”

Poroshenko pleaded with Congress stating, “One cannot win a war with blankets.”

According to The Hill, U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel stressed that the requested assistance would not amount to the U.S. entering a new war.  “The people of the Ukraine are not looking for American troops,” he said.  “They are just looking for weapons to defend themselves.  They don’t have those weapons.  We do.”

“If we don’t act now, who will?” Engel asked.

Fighting has decreased quite a bit in east Ukraine, but numerous skirmishes still occur. More than 6,000 people have died in the conflict, which commenced last April.

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