U.S. plane brings Javelin missiles and launchers to Ukraine

·1 min read

KYIV (Reuters) -A U.S. plane carrying Javelin anti-tank missiles, launchers and other military hardware landed in Kyiv on Tuesday, the third shipment of a $200-million security package to shore up Ukraine as it braces for a possible Russian military offensive.

"Javelins in Kyiv! A new cargo of security aid - launchers & missiles - with a total weight of about 80 tons. We expect the arrival of the 4th from the big flock of birds soon," Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov tweeted.

"Thanks to our strategic partner."

The United States has been Ukraine's most powerful backer in trying to avert a new attack by Russia, which has massed troops near Ukraine's border. Moscow denies planning an offensive.

The United States has committed more than $650 million of security assistance to Ukraine in the past year and more than $2.7 billion in total since 2014, when Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.

Ukraine has been a grateful recipient of the aid though it has criticised as "premature" a partial pullout of U.S. and other embassy staff.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets; writing by Matthias Williams; editing by Timothy Heritage and Sandra Maler)

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