The U.S. for the first time has approved the direct delivery of Stinger missiles to Ukraine as part of a package approved by the White House on Friday.
The exact timing of delivery is not known, but officials say the U.S. is currently working on the logistics of the shipment. The officials agreed to discuss the development only if not quoted by name.
The decision comes on the heels of Germany’s announcement that it will send 500 Stinger missiles and other weapons and supplies to Ukraine.
The high-speed Stingers are very accurate and are used to shoot down helicopters and other aircraft. Ukrainian officials have been asking for more of the powerful weapons.
The Baltic states have also been providing Ukraine with Stingers since January, and in order to do that had to get U.S. permission.
The Russian military said Sunday that some of its troops were killed and some were wounded in Ukraine — admitting for the first time that it had suffered casualties since the Russian invasion.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Sunday “there are dead and wounded among our comrades,” without offering any numbers, but adding that Russia’s losses were “many times” fewer than those of Ukraine’s forces.
It was the first time Russian military officials mentioned casualties on their side. Ukraine has claimed that its forces killed 3,500 Russian troops. Konashenkov also said that since the start of the attack Thursday, the Russian military have hit 1,067 Ukrainian military facilities, including 27 command posts and communication centers, 38 air defense missile system, and 56 radar stations.
Konashenkov’s claims and Ukraine’s allegations that its forces killed thousands of Russian troops can’t be independently verified.