Biden announces $1 billion in new aid to Ukraine
The Biden administration announced Wednesday that the U.S. will provide Ukraine with an additional $1 billion in military aid to help the country defend itself from Russia.
Driving the news: The aid comes as Ukraine and Russia engage in a fierce battle for control of Severodonetsk, the last remaining major city still under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk region of the Donbas.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned last week that the fight for the city would determine the fate of eastern Ukraine.
- During his nightly address Tuesday, Zelensky repeated pleas for more and faster deliveries of Western arms, especially anti-missile defense systems, AP reported.
The big picture: The aid package will include more arms for Ukraine, such as coastal defense systems, artillery, advanced rocket systems and ammunition, President Biden said in a statement.
- It will include weapons that can be efficiently shipped from current U.S. stockpiles, and new contracts to ensure long-term supplies for Ukraine, CNN reported.
- Biden also announced another $225 million in humanitarian aid to help Ukrainians, "including by supplying safe drinking water, critical medical supplies and health care, food, shelter, and cash for families to purchase essential items."
What they're saying: "The bravery, resilience, and determination of the Ukrainian people continues to inspire the world. And the United States, together with our allies and partners, will not waver in our commitment to the Ukrainian people as they fight for their freedom," Biden said.
- Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, speaking at a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels on Wednesday, urged the more than 45 participating countries to demonstrate "our unwavering determination to get Ukraine the capabilities that it urgently needs to defend itself," AP reported.