Mon, 15 Aug 2022

Moscow [Russia], August 2 (ANI): Russia on Tuesday accused the United States of direct involvement in the Ukraine war.

Lt Gen Igor Konashenkov, spokesperson for Moscow's defence ministry said that they intercepted calls between Ukrainian officials that revealed the direct involvement of the US in the Ukraine war.

He alleged that the US was approving targets for American-made Himars artillery used by Ukrainian forces.

"It is the Biden administration that is directly responsible for all rocket attacks approved by Kyiv on residential areas and civilian infrastructure facilities in settlements of Donbass and other regions that caused mass deaths of civilians," said Konashenkov.

High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is the most technically advanced, affordable and sustainable artillery solution.

It is a multiple rocket system which can launch precision-guided missiles at targets as far as 70km (45 miles) away - far further than the artillery that Ukraine previously had.

Meanwhile, US officials have not commented on the Russian accusations.

Russia previously had accused the US of fighting a "proxy war" in Ukraine.

Notably, the US announced delivering a USD 550 million package of military aid to Ukraine, the State Department informed in a statement on Monday.

"Pursuant to a delegation of authority from the President, I am authorizing our seventeenth drawdown since August 2021 of up to USD 550 million in arms and equipment from US Department of Defense (DoD) inventories for Ukraine's self-defence," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

"Today's announcement includes more ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and 155mm artillery systems that Ukraine's forces are using so effectively on the battlefield to defend their country," the statement added.

Blinken said this drawdown will bring total US military assistance to Ukraine to approximately USD 8.7 billion since the beginning of the Administration of Joe Biden.

"The United States continues to stand with Allies and partners from more than 50 countries in providing vital security assistance to support Ukraine's defence of its sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russia's aggression," Blinken added.

The US reiterated its support for Ukraine, "Our commitment to the people of Ukraine will not waver. We stand united with Ukraine," Blinken stated.

Earlier, condemning Russia's "premeditated, unprovoked, unjustified, and brutal war" on Ukraine, Blinken had said that the US will continue to provide Ukraine with the arms to defend itself.

Meanwhile, the ship with grain that left the Ukrainian port of Odessa on Monday will undergo an inspection in Istanbul on August 3, Sputnik News Agency reported citing sources on Tuesday.

The Turkish Defence Ministry on Monday confirmed the departure of the first shipment with grain cargo from the Ukrainian port.

Earlier, the ministry said that the first ship with grain cargo will depart from Ukraine on Monday at around 8:30 am (Turkish time). Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said that grain exports via the Black Sea will begin in the coming days.

Russia launched a "special military operation" in Ukraine on February 24, which the West has termed an unprovoked war. As a result of this, the Western countries have also imposed several crippling sanctions on Moscow. (ANI)

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