Biden announces $325 million in Ukraine aid during Zelensky visit
What they're saying: "Today I approved the next tranche of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine including more artillery, more ammunition, more anti-tank weapons and next week, the first U.S. Abrams tanks will be delivered to Ukraine," Biden said.
- The latest aid package will focus on bolstering Ukraine's air defense capabilities, Biden said.
Details: In addition to meeting Biden, Zelensky had a closed-door meeting Thursday afternoon with U.S. senators, many of whom publicly praised the wartime leader afterward.
- They discussed "the battlefield situation and priority defense needs," Zelensky wrote in a post on X Thursday, thanking senators for their support.
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also took to X to share a photo with Zelensky, writing that "American support for Ukraine is not charity. It's in our own direct interests."
- Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) praised Zelensky's "powerful, heartfelt message," also sharing a photo from the meeting.
Of note: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Thursday said he denied Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's request to deliver a joint address to Congress.
- "Zelensky asked for a joint session, we just didn't have time. He's already given a joint session," McCarthy told reporters Thursday.
Earlier Thursday, following his meeting with House lawmakers, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told reporters the president had "world courage and world clarity."
State of play: Biden in August requested $24 billion of additional aid for the country.
- "Mr. Zelensky said, 'If we don't get the aid, we will lose the war,'" Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters Thursday.
- But Republican opposition for additional aid for Kyiv has been mounting. In a letter to the Biden administration Thursday, 29 Republicans voiced their opposition to the funding.
Zoom out: Zelensky addressed the UN Security Council Wednesday, condemning Russia's "criminal and unprovoked aggression" and the UN's inaction.
- Russia launched massive strikes against Ukraine Thursday, ahead of Zelensky's meeting with President Biden, Congress and the Pentagon.
- "We must work together to fully deprive Russia of its terrorist potential. At my meetings, air defense will be among top priorities," Zelensky posted on X Thursday.
Go deeper: Zelensky's frosty welcome to D.C.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional developments.