WASHINGTON — The United States approved additional military assistance to Ukraine’s armed forces this Thursday [June 23rd], deciding to send naval vessels. A total of 18 naval vessels will be sent to Ukraine as follows: six 40-feet long warships, two small river vessels up to 35 feet long to guard river areas, and ten medium-sized patrol boats. The information was confirmed by a senior official from the US State Department, quoted by USNI News.
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The consent of Congress is not required for the delivery of the said naval equipment. Experts say that this is a decision of the President of the United States, which suggests that they are stocks from the US Department of Defense under the President. However, there is no official information on exactly where these patrol and river boats, as well as the six warships, come from.
40-feet long warships are not large warships. The United States intended to donate large warships to Ukraine, and a similar proposal was submitted to Congress but was later rejected. A UNSI News source says the donated naval fuel vessels will have limited use [whatever that means]. It is unclear whether the Harpoon anti-ship missile systems donated by Denmark will be installed on the new ships, or whether Ukraine will continue to use them as “customer-made” coastal anti-ship missiles. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the United States also approved the shipment of Harpoon coastal launchers.
The Russian blockade of the Black Sea continues. A senior State Department official failed to specify the number of Russian naval vessels involved in the blockade. The blockade of the Black Sea by Russian warships also has a secondary effect – it cuts off Ukraine from access to the Sea of Azov.
Defense analyst H. I. Sutton tweeted satellite images of at least seven Russian warships and a submarine in Novorossiysk on the Black Sea on Friday [June 24th]. The submarine is Kilo-class, and the ships are patrol ship 22160, landing ship class Alligator 1171, three landing ships class Ropucha 775, light frigate class Grisha-III 1124, landing ship Pyotr Morgunov 11711 [the largest of the seven].
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