New York City, US, Oct 26 (EFE).- Russian authorities are executing some of their own soldiers for not following orders during Moscow’s war with Ukraine, the White House said Thursday.
“We have information that the Russian military has been actually executing soldiers who refuse to follow orders. We also have information that Russian commanders are threatening to execute entire units if they seek to retreat from Ukrainian artillery fire,” White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said at a press briefing.
The spokesperson described the development as a “symptom” of how poorly the country’s military leaders thought they were doing in the invasion of Ukraine but warned that Moscow still had significant offensive capabilities and could achieve tactical gains in the coming weeks.
Kirby’s remarks come on the same day that Washington announced a new $150 million military aid package for Ukraine, which includes additional air defense capabilities, artillery ammunition, anti-tank weapons, and other equipment.
“Ukraine’s forces are fighting bravely to reclaim territory seized by Russia’s forces, and this additional support will help them continue making progress,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
The package includes a new Patriot air defense battery, 12 NASAMS missile systems, 31 Abrams tanks and 20 Mi-17 helicopters, in addition to different types of weapons, grenades and ammunition, the Pentagon said.
The US is the largest donor of military aid to Ukraine, with more than $43.9 billion since the start of the war in February last year.
However, the security assistance funding approved for Ukraine in 2022 by the US Congress is about to be exhausted and Republicans, who have a majority in the House of Representatives, view aid to Kyiv with growing suspicion.
Last week, Biden asked Congress for a new budget item that combines $61.4 billion for Ukraine and $14.3 billion for Israel, taking advantage of the fact that support for the Middle Eastern country is practically unanimous among the lawmakers. EFE