The Biden administration announced on May 31 a new military aid package for Ukraine but noted that U.S. weaponry shouldn't be used to strike within Russia.
U.S. officials have said that there's no evidence that U.S.-made drones or munitions were used in the Moscow strikes. The Biden administration has said that it has made clear to Ukraine that U.S.-made weapons shouldn't be used for attacks inside Russian territory, citing the risk of escalation.
However, Kirby noted that U.S. officials don't have control over Kyiv's military.
"We don’t tell them where to strike. We don’t tell them, you know, where not to strike. We don’t tell them how to conduct their operations," he said.
"We give them equipment. We give them training. We give them advice and counsel. Heck, we even do tabletop exercises with them to help them plan out what they’re going to do. But ultimately, President Zelenskyy and his military commanders decide what they’re going to do from a military perspective, and they decide what they’re going to do with the equipment that has been provided to them and that they now own."
The Russia–Ukraine war has persisted since Feb. 24, 2022, when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Kyiv.
"Russia has continued to wage a brutal, completely unprovoked war against Ukraine, launching yet more airstrikes and bombarding Ukrainian cities across the country," Kirby told reporters. "In response, the United States is going to continue to help give them things that they need to better defend themselves."
Russia recently mounted 17 separate air assaults targeting Kyiv in May. According to Kirby, the attacks harmed civilians and hit critical civilian infrastructure.
The latest $300 million military aid is the 39th drawdown of the Defense Department inventories for Ukraine since August 2021. This package will use presidential drawdown authority, which allows the Pentagon to take weapons from its own stocks and quickly ship them to Ukraine.
This includes more munitions for Patriot missile batteries and high-mobility artillery rocket systems, as well as Avenger air defense systems, Stinger antiaircraft systems, and AIM-7 missiles for air defense.
It also includes more artillery and anti-armor capabilities, precision aerial munitions, mine-clearing equipment, unguided Zuni aircraft rockets, night vision goggles, and more.
The Biden administration has committed more than $37.6 billion in military aid for Ukraine since February 2022, according to the Pentagon.
"And this contact group will continue driving hard to help Ukraine defend the skies. In recent weeks, Russia has intensified its sordid bombardment of Ukrainian cities and infrastructure. And the Kremlin's cruelty only underscores Ukraine's need for a stronger, layered ground-based air defense architecture."The Associated Press contributed to this report.