Russia Ukraine conflict

Biden announces $800 mln in new US military aid for Ukraine

The latest assistance package also includes new capabilities “tailored to the wider assault we expect Russia to launch in eastern Ukraine,” Biden said.

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President Joe Biden told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday that he had authorized a new $800 million in weapons, ammunition, and other security assistance to Ukraine.

“The Ukrainian military has used the weapons we are providing to devastating effect. As Russia prepares to intensify its attack in the Donbas region, the United States will continue to provide Ukraine with the capabilities to defend itself,” Biden said, according to a readout of the call.

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The new package will include artillery systems, artillery rounds, and armored personnel carriers. Biden said the US would continue to facilitate the transfer of “significant capabilities” from allies around the world. “I have also approved the transfer of additional helicopters,” the US president said.

The latest assistance package also includes new capabilities “tailored to the wider assault we expect Russia to launch in eastern Ukraine,” Biden said.

The Russian war on Ukraine entered its 49th day on Wednesday. And despite Russian forces pulling back from the capital of Kyiv, they are now regrouping for a renewed offensive in the Donbas, a senior US defense official told reporters earlier in the day.

Biden said US military aid had helped ensure that Russia’s Vladimir Putin “failed in his initial war aims to conquer and control Ukraine.”

Biden added: “We cannot rest now.”

Pentagon number two Kathleen Hicks was due to chair a meeting later Wednesday with the heads of the main American defense groups to speed up production of weapons most used by the Ukrainian army.

According to the White House last week, the United States has so far supplied or promised Ukraine: 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 5,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles, 7,000 other anti-tank weapons, several hundred Switchblade drones, 7,000 assault rifles, 50 million bullets and a range of other equipment.

Read more: Iran’s military helping smuggle weapons from Iraq to Russia: Report

- Additional reporting from AFP

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