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President Joe Biden says Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was "convincing" and "passionate" in his address to US Congress

US to give hundreds of millions in new security aid for Ukraine

March 16th, 2022
President Joe Biden says Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “convincing” and “passionate” in his address to US Congress

(CNN) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced an additional $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine as he sought to answer his Ukrainian counterpart’s impassioned call for help and leadership delivered to Congress earlier in the day.

“The world is united in our support for Ukraine and our determination to make (Russian President Vladimir) Putin pay a very heavy price,” Biden said before signing a presidential memorandum at the White House to deliver the military assistance. “America is leading this effort, together with our allies and partners, providing an enormous level of security and humanitarian assistance that we’re adding to today and we’re going to continue to do more in the days and weeks ahead.”

The new details about the US’ military assistance to Ukraine comes hours after Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, addressed US members of Congress, renewing his calls for more assistance as his homeland continues to battle Russian military’s invasion.

Biden, in his remarks on Wednesday, attempted to level with Americans about the long road ahead in the war.

“I want to be honest with you,” the President said. “This could be a long and difficult battle. But the American people will be steadfast in our support of the people of Ukraine in the face of Putin’s immoral, unethical attacks on civilian population.”

According to the White House, the $800 million in security assistance will provide Ukraine with: 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 100 drones, “over 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition and grenade launcher and mortar rounds,” 25,000 sets of body armor, 25,000 helmets, 100 grenade launchers, 5,000 rifles, 1,000 pistols, 400 machine guns, 400 shotguns, as well as “2,000 Javelin, 1,000 light anti-armor weapons, and 6,000 AT-4 anti-armor systems.”

The assistance stops short of the no-fly zone or fighter jets that Zelensky has said are necessary to sustain Ukraine’s fight against Russia.

News of the additional assistance, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, comes as the White House continues to face intense pressure from Congress and Zelensky to find new ways to aid Ukraine.

The Ukrainian President, who remains in his country, delivered an impassioned message for Biden at the end of his remarks to Congress.

“You are the leader of your grand nation,” Zelensky told Biden. “I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.”

Biden said later Wednesday that he watched Zelensky’s speech from the White House residence, calling it “convincing” and “significant.”

“He speaks for a people who have shown remarkable courage and strength in the face of brutal aggression, courage and strength that’s inspired not only Ukrainians, but the entire war,” Biden continued.

The $800 million in security assistance comes from the massive spending bill the President signed into law on Tuesday, which includes $13.6 billion total in new aid to Ukraine.

The Biden administration will look to get these hundreds of millions in new aid to Ukraine as quickly as possible, with the President noting Tuesday that it is becoming “exceedingly difficult” to get new supplies into Ukraine, though they are still able to do so.

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