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Biden announces $800 mln in new Ukraine aid, includes anti-aircraft weapons, drones

The US president said they would supply Kyiv with 800 anti-aircraft systems, 9,000 anti-armor systems, 7,000 small arms, 20 million rounds of ammunition, and drones.

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US President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he was approving an additional $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine, including anti-aircraft systems and drones.

“America is leading this effort together with our allies and partners providing enormous levels of security and humanitarian assistance that we’re adding to today,” Biden said in televised remarks as Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley stood behind him.

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“We’re going to continue to do more in the days and weeks ahead. We’re crippling Putin’s economy with punishing sanctions, that’s going to only grow more painful over time,” Biden added.

He said that the principles of what the US and UN stood for were “at stake.”

Biden went on: “It’s about freedom. It’s about the right of people to determine their own future. It’s about making sure Ukraine will never be a victory for Putin, no matter what advances he makes on the battlefield.”

In a rare detailing of what types of weapons were being transferred, Biden listed the new weapons: 800 anti-aircraft systems, 9,000 anti-armor systems, 7,000 small arms, 20 million rounds of ammunition, and drones.

Biden was speaking hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged American lawmakers to do more to protect his country from Russia’s invasion during a virtual address to Congress.

Zelenskyy implored US officials to issue a no-fly zone over Ukraine while he requested more fighter jets and defense systems to fend off Russia’s invasion, which has spilled over into its third week.

Read more: ‘Close the sky over Ukraine,’ President Zelenskyy urges US Congress