01:00 GMT22 February 2020
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    As the United States continues to mull Ukrainian requests for lethal aid, a US official has confirmed that the Pentagon will deliver a large fleet of unarmed drones and Humvees.

    Speaking on condition of anonymity, an official told Reuters that the US is preparing a shipment of unmanned Raven drones. These UAV’s are nonlethal and can easily be launched by hand.

    The package will also contain over 200 military Humvees, 30 of which will be heavily armored.

    Also included will be an assortment of radios and counter mortar radars. The estimated value of the equipment is $75 million, though that estimate does not include the Humvees.

    The aid could arrive in the Ukraine within weeks.

    Kiev has long pushed for lethal assistance from the West. Last month, Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Zorian Shkiryak expressed hope that a such aid could soon be delivered.

    “The new US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is a supporter of the idea of providing Ukraine with high-precision lethal defense weapons!” Shkiryak wrote on his Facebook page. “We invest high hopes in the new Pentagon leader.”

    A Raven A unmanned drone
    © AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin
    A "Raven A" unmanned drone

    Last December, President Obama signed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, authorizing the shipment of lethal assistance to Kiev, and several US lawmakers have encouraged the president to begin such deliveries.

    After a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in February, Obama decided to delay these considerations. Merkel has been a strong proponent of finding a diplomatic, nonviolent solution to the Ukrainian crisis.

    Obama agreed “to give some space for those diplomatic, political efforts that were underway” to secure a peaceful solution to the conflict, German Ambassador Peter Wittig told the Associated Press.

    On Tuesday, the Ukrainian military also received a shipment of 20 Saxon armored vehicles from the UK. The Saxon’s are no longer used by the British military, and all lethal capabilities had been removed. Ukraine intends to rearm the vehicles before they are put into use.

    A car accident caused by the delivery of the Saxons left one Ukrainian soldier dead on Tuesday.

    Kiev is still expecting the delivery of another 55 Saxon vehicles.

    military aid, lethal aid, drone, Pentagon, Zorian Shkiryak, Ukraine, Barack Obama, United States, Angela Merkel
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