US President Joe Biden has announced a new package of $800 million in military aid for Ukraine, saying it would help Kyiv in the fight against Russian forces in the Donbas region.
President Biden in a broadcast said the new package was tailored to help Ukraine’s forces meet the emerging Russian offensive in the country’s east, which he said would be a different kind of fight than that in the north around Kyiv, where Ukrainian forces successfully beat Russian forces back in the first six weeks of the war.
“We’re in a critical window now… where they’re going to set the stage for the next phase of this war. And the United States and our allies and partners are moving as fast as possible to continue to provide Ukraine… the weapons their forces need to defend their nation.”
Biden also announced that Russia-affiliated ships would be banned from US ports, and that the US Treasury was putting up a fresh $500 million for Ukraine’s government so it can pay salaries and pensions and provide services.
He said unity between the US and allies in support of Ukraine is sending “an unmistakable message” to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“He will never succeed in dominating and occupying all of Ukraine. That will not happen,” Biden said.
Meanwhile, a statement from the Pentagon revealed that the newest round of US support will include 72 155mm howitzers, 72 armored vehicles to tow them, 144,000 rounds of ammunition, and more than 120 “Phoenix Ghost” tactical drones recently developed by the US Air Force specifically to address Ukraine’s needs.
Appreciating the gesture in a tweet on his official twitter handle, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has pushed strongly for more and heavier weaponry, said that he was grateful for Biden’s announcement.
“This help is needed today more than ever! It saves the lives of our defenders of democracy and freedom and brings us closer to restoring peace.”