U.S. preparing new $275 million package for Ukraine-source

FILE PHOTO: Members of the international community hold a rally in support of Ukraine in Kyiv

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is preparing a new $275 million package of military assistance for Ukraine to bolster its counter-offensive against Russian forces, a source familiar with the plan said on Thursday.

The package is expected to include ammunition and more High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers, the source said, confirming a report by the Associated Press. It could be announced as early as Friday.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby declined to confirm details of the package in a CNN interview, except to say a new tranche of weaponry for Ukraine would be announced "very, very soon."

Since the Feb. 24 Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine, which Moscow calls a "special military operation", the United States has sent around $17.6 billion worth of security assistance to Kyiv.

The United States is considering sending older HAWK air defense equipment from storage to Ukraine to help it defend against Russian drone and cruise missile attacks, U.S. officials say.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)