President Biden announced plans on Thursday to send $800 million more military aid to help Ukraine fight back against the Russian invasion.
The new aid package includes much-needed heavy artillery, dozens of howitzers and 140,000 rounds of ammunition for Ukrainian forces in the emerging fight for the eastern Donbas region.
“The US and our partners are continuing to provide Ukraine with the equipment they need to defend their nation,” Biden said.
“Today I’m announcing another $800M to further augment Ukrainian forces in the Donbas,” he added.
Two months into the war, Biden boasted that Ukraine has so far succeeded against all odds in repelling the invasion.
“Kyiv still stands. (Ukraine President Volodymyr) Zelenskyy and his democratically elected government still remain in power,” he said. “Ukraine’s armed forces and civilians have thwarted Russia’s conquest of their country.”
Biden said the US can continue to pour weaponry into Ukraine “for a long time” but he warned that Congress would need to authorize more funds soon.
“The question is: Are we going to be able to keep the support of the international community and keep the pressure on (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” the president said. “So far, so good.”
Biden also said the US would send an additional $500 million in economic aid to Ukraine.
He vowed the US will no longer allow Russian-flagged ships to dock at American ports in the latest effort to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
“That means no ship, no ship that sails under the Russian flag or that is owned or operated by Russian interests will be allowed to dock in the United States port or access our shores,” Biden said in remarks at the White House.
He also announced a new humanitarian program called Unite for Ukraine that he said would streamline “secure, legal immigration” for Ukrainian refugees who have sponsors in the US
Biden’s speech came hours after Putin claimed victory in Russia’s siege of the strategic Black Sea port city of Mariupol in the south.
Putin ordered his troops not to risk more losses by storming the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol, preferring to wait out their resistance.
Russian forces have destroyed much of Mariupol, which has witnessed some of the fiercest fighting of the war.
But Biden insisted the fight was not completely over.
“There is no evidence that Mariupol has completely fallen,” Biden said.
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With News Wire Services