Bullets and artillery shells from Germany could be first to go to Ukraine this week if a massive aid package is approved as expected. 

The Senate was set to approve a $95 billion foreign aid bill Tuesday night or Wednesday once a series of procedural hurdles are cleared. The House of Representatives approved the new bill Saturday which includes military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine and Israel, among other areas. The House approval was a major breakthrough after Ukraine aid stalled in the House for months under Republican resistance. The Democratic-majority Senate previously approved a similar bill earlier this year.

With the House version now all but certain to get Senate approval in the coming days, President Joe Biden has said he would sign the bill “immediately,” which would be the green light for the Pentagon to begin moving arms towards Ukraine.

“As we’ve done in the past, we can move within days,” Pentagon spokesman Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said last week. He did not elaborate on how such movements would be done, but as in the past, U.S. Transportation Command would oversee the transfer. The first weapons and ammunition sent over are expected to include air defense systems as well as 155mm artillery rounds, which Ukraine is in desperate need of due to munition shortages since much of the U.S. aid dried up at the end of 2023. Germany has been a major staging group for Western aid to Ukraine, both in transporting arms and for training Ukrainian forces.

Within the bill, $60.84 billion of the package would go to Ukraine. Of that, nearly $14 billion will fund new arms purchases. The Pentagon has already provided more than $40 billion in weapons, training and equipment to the country, and has a significant stockpile of ordnance and weapons in Europe in countries such as Germany, but has halted transfers out of a lack of funding for replenishing American supplies. If this new funding is approved, the weapons already in Europe can be quickly transported by rail into Ukraine, as soon as by early May. 

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The Ukraine part of the $95 billion bill also includes billions for economic assistance to Kyiv and money for U.S. training of Ukrainian forces. One of the biggest parts of it though is the $23.2 billion in funds for replenishing American stockpiles of weapons. As the war in Ukraine has dragged on, aid from the U.S. has put a drain on American munition supplies. The Pentagon and manufacturers have previously announced plans to boost production and make up for those losses. 

Ukraine’s ammunition shortages have contributed to recent gains by the invading Russian forces. Although both sides burned through scores of artillery rounds in the first months of the war with massive barrages, Russia has been able to keep up a greater firing rate two years in compared to Ukraine. Russian gun crews are outgunning Ukrainian ones five to one at least, as Ukrainian troops have to conserve ammunition. That’s led to recent Russian gains, including taking Avdiivka in February. A European effort to provide more ammunition to Kyiv is starting to ramp up, but has not yet met its goals. 

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