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US announces more than $53 million in aid to Ukraine for critical infrastructure

FILE- Smoke rises after a drone fired on buildings in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. Surovikin has become the face of Russia’s new strategy in Ukraine, which includes unleashing a barrage of strikes against the country’s infrastructure. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File) Efrem Lukatsky/AP

US announces more than $53 million in aid to Ukraine for critical infrastructure

Mike Brest

November 29, 12:16 PM November 29, 12:16 PM

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The United States will provide more than $53 million to Ukraine to support efforts to repair critical infrastructure that Russia has spent weeks deliberately destroying.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the latest aid, which the State Department said would help Ukraine get “generators and other equipment to help restore emergency power and heat to local municipalities impacted by Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s power system,” on Tuesday during a G-7+ meeting on the margins of the NATO ministerial in Bucharest.

RUSSIA TARGETS UKRAINIAN INFRASTRUCTURE AHEAD OF LONG, HARD WINTER

“This supply package will include distribution transformers, circuit breakers, surge arresters, disconnectors, vehicles and other key equipment,” a statement from the department’s press office said. “We will continue to identify additional support with allies and partners, and we are also helping to devise long-term solutions for grid restoration and repair, along with our assistance for Ukraine’s effort to advance the energy transition and build an energy system decoupled from Russian energy.”

Russian forces, since the fall, have pummeled Ukraine’s energy infrastructure via aerial attacks. While Kremlin leaders maintain these are military targets, Western and Ukrainian officials have argued they are weaponizing winter. The attacks have left millions in various Ukrainian cities without electricity, clean water, and heat as winter begins.

With the help of Iranian drones, Russian forces have been able to launch strikes all across Ukraine, while the fighting in the south and east has diminished since the weather conditions have worsened.

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“USAID is providing power generators and alternative fuel sources to health facilities, centers for internally displaced persons, and community heating points, helping provide the people of Ukraine with access to warm shelter during winter,” a spokesperson for USAID told the Washington Examiner. “The assistance targets parts of Ukraine that have been devastated by Putin’s war, including the regions of Chernihiv, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Zaporizhzhia, and Zhytomyr.”

USAID is also supporting the maintenance of pipes and other equipment necessary to deliver essential services to homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses.

“More than 1,000 generators have already been delivered to 21 oblasts across Ukraine. Kyiv’s district heating company is using more than 100 of them to establish emergency heating centers around the city for neighborhoods without service,” the spokesperson added, noting that the latest package of about 50 generators was delivered on Nov. 18.

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