According to a United States official, U.S. President Joe Biden will soon announce plans to send another round of military assistance to help Ukraine fight back against Russian aggression. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity and said that the president would deliver a Thursday morning address at the White House detailing his intentions to build on approximately $2.6 billion in military aid the government previously approved for Ukraine.
Biden planned to announce sending the latest military aid package worth $800 million to help Ukrainian forces to combat the Russian attack. Biden will plan to build on the approximately $2.6 billion in weaponry aid the government previously approved for the Ukrainian military. pic.twitter.com/fUYRDqu70T
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) April 21, 2022
Last week, the Biden administration said to announce a likely package of similar size of around $800 million in aid. It also includes much-needed ammunition and heavy artillery for the Ukrainian military in the escalating fight for the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Additionally, earlier this week, Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, said his country would send heavy artillery to Ukraine. The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, told Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian President, that the Netherlands would send further heavy weapons to Ukraine, including armored vehicles.
On Wednesday, a senior United States defense official said training of Ukrainian soldiers on the U.S. 155 mm howitzers started in a European nation outside Ukraine. The same day, the U.S. president lauded American military officials for exceptional work arming Ukraine as he gathered the country’s military brass for their first in-person group meeting at the White House.
Zelensky Asked Congress for New Air Defense Systems
After approval, the latest aid package of $800 million would mean the United States committed around $3.4 billion to assist the Ukrainian military since the Russian invasion on 24th February. It would be the last presidential drawdown until Congress approves additional money for weaponry aid to the war-torn country. The U.S. Defense Department pulls weapons and equipment from American catalogs to send to Ukraine instead of buying new weapons from manufacturers.
For some weeks, Zelensky asked world leaders for additional arms and equipment. Finally, in March, the Ukrainian leader spoke with seventeen nations’ parliaments and three international organizations. Zelensky never strayed from his key demand: Ukraine needs more weapons. Furthermore, he requested Congress for new air defense systems to help defend the skies of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian president asked one percent of NATO’s fighter jets and tanks to combat the Russian military. He also demanded further weapons from Belgium, warning that the European Union (U.N.) would lose if Ukraine lost. However, this month, the United States told CNN that the envelope of what individuals are ready to provide had grown significantly in recent weeks.
Biden Convenes His Military Leadership to Discuss Ukraine
Yesterday, Russian forces launched new attacks on the embattled Mariupol; Biden assembled his military leadership to work on getting the latest evaluation of the Russian attack. Before his meeting, the president said to his top military leadership that he wanted to hear from all of them and their assessments of what they perceive in the field and across U.S. forces.
President Biden met with military commanders, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Marl Milley, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and around two dozen national security advisers and military leaders. Earlier that day, the United States imposed the latest sanctions on dozens more Russian individuals and entities accused of escaping current financial sanctions slapped on Russia for its attack on Ukraine.