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Biden announces heavy artillery and other weapons for Ukraine – Daily Local

AAMER MADHANI, ROBERT BURNS, DARLENE SUPERVILLE

Washington (AP) — President Joe Biden promises an additional $ 1.3 billion on Thursday for new weapons and financial support to help Ukraine in a powerful but increasingly difficult battle with the Russian invasion. And promised to ask Congress more to maintain guns and ammunition, and cash flow.

According to Biden, the latest military aid is sent “directly to the forefront of freedom.”

“Putin relies on us losing interest,” Biden said. The Russian president is betting, “Western unity will collapse … and once again, I will prove that he is wrong.”

The new package includes the long-awaited heavy artillery, 144,000 rounds of ammunition, and $ 800 million in military aid to drones for intensifying combat in the Donbus region of eastern Ukraine. It is based on Biden’s previously approved military aid of approximately $ 2.6 billion.

There is a new $ 500 million in direct financial assistance to Ukraine for government salaries, pensions and other programs. This will increase US total financial support to $ 1 billion since the Russian invasion began nearly two months ago.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked him, but said his country needed more than ever. In addition to the weapons and money to keep the war going, we need up to $ 7 billion a month to make up for our financial losses.

“It will take hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild,” Zelensky said in effect at the World Bank conference in Washington, as tens of thousands of buildings were damaged and major infrastructure was abandoned.

Biden emphasized the need for US and Western allies to remain determined to support Ukraine, with signs that Americans may become more wary of the war.

The Associated Press-A poll released by the National Poll Center on Thursday shows that Americans’ desire to get involved has diminished somewhat. About 32% say the United States should play a major role in the conflict. This is down from 40% last month, but slightly higher than the 26% said in February. An additional 49% say the United States should have a minor role.

The president also announced that Russian-affiliated vessels would be banned from US ports, which seemed to be largely symbolic. Russian ships carry a small portion of the cargo unloaded in the United States, and “my guess is … a decent chunk of it was a tanker that transports Russian oil, which is currently banned.” Researcher Colin Grabow said the Cato Institute.

Overall, Biden said the $ 6.5 billion security aid approved by Congress last month as part of Ukraine’s $ 13.6 billion package could soon be “run out.” In the latest announcement, Biden has approved approximately $ 3.4 billion in military aid since February 24th. The total parliamentary total also includes approximately $ 6.8 billion in direct financial assistance to care for refugees and provide financial assistance to allies in the war-affected areas. Additional funding to federal agencies to implement economic sanctions against Russia and protect against cyber threats.

“Next week, I will need to send Congress an additional budget request to keep deploying weapons and ammunition uninterrupted,” Biden said.

Parliament has signaled that it will accept further demands and has hoped that there will be a need for further support for Ukrainians. However, this issue can be entwined with pandemic spending and partisan battles over immigration, complicating the path.

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky, has expressed its willingness to consider further assistance to Ukraine in recent weeks. “I think we need to say we want to beat the Ukrainians. We are ready to do everything we can to win,” McConnell said Monday in Shelbyville, Kentucky. ..

“I want to do more,” Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol in a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. She said lawmakers would learn more about Biden’s latest funding request “to be picked up as soon as possible the next day or so.” Next week. “

Biden chose to retire Lieutenant Terry Wolf, an official of the National Security Council during the Obama administration, and oversee the coordination of security assistance to Ukraine, according to White House officials. Officials who spoke on anonymous terms to discuss appointments that have not yet been officially announced said Wolff was recently brought to the White House National Security Council team.

Biden talked about new support, and more broadly the situation in Ukraine, hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed victory in the strategic city of Mariupol. But Putin ordered his army not to risk more losses by assaulting the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance on the iconic battlefield of war.

Biden in exchange for a reporter, following his remarks that called Russia’s allegations against Mariupol “suspicious.”

Russian troops have destroyed many of the southeastern port cities. And it witnessed some of the fiercest battles of the war. Russia estimates that approximately 2,000 Ukrainian troops remain trapped in vast steelworks, despite Russia bombarding industrial lands and continuing to issue ultimatums for surrender.

Biden sought to reveal to the Russians that there would be more military aid to Ukraine.

“Sometimes we will talk calmly and carry big javelins because we are sending them a lot,” Biden paraphrased Theodore Roosevelt, referring to the anti-tank missile system.

To support the new U.S. military, 72 155mm howitzers, 144,000 shells, 72 vehicles were used to pull the howitzers to the battlefield, with more than 121 Phoenix ghost tactical drones, and field equipment. Includes spare parts.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the drone was developed by the Air Force and fits the specific needs of the Ukrainian army in the Battle of Dombås. The drone is a program launched before Russia’s invasion on February 24, and is manufactured by the US company Aevex Aerospace. Kirby said the Phoenix Ghost is similar to the armed Switchblade Kamikaze drone that the Pentagon has already offered to Ukraine.

In addition to the 18 howitzers announced last week, 72 howitzers have been transferred by the United States to Ukraine.

Biden’s decision to quadruple the promised number of weapon packages announced last week reflects what is being shaped as a major ground battle in the disputed Donbus region of eastern Ukraine.

After withdrawing from the failed attempt to occupy the capital Kyiv, the Russians have recently deployed additional cannons there with the aim of expanding their attacks and attempting to take full control of Donbus. Heavy weapons such as artillery are expected to play an important role in combat in relatively limited areas where Ukrainian and Russian-backed separatists have fought since 2014.

The announcement of new aid was dominated by how to manage the spillover from the Russian war in Ukraine in the context of this week’s meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Prior to his remarks, Biden met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. Ukrainian leaders met with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday as well as Pelosi.

Yellen said at a news conference that the financial aid sent by the United States and its allies was “just the beginning of what Ukraine needs to rebuild.” She added that this week she will discuss efforts to further support Ukraine with Western countries.

“I think we are united, recognizing that we have to find a way to meet the needs of Ukraine,” she said.

The Biden administration also announced a new program on Thursday aimed at streamlining refugee claims for Ukrainians and others fleeing combat while they were still in Europe. The United States no longer allows people who appear on the US-Mexico border in search of asylum to enter the country on a regular basis, as do thousands.

The United States has accepted up to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine and expects about 15,000 to come primarily through Mexico.

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Associated Press writers Ben Fox, Alan Fram, Fatima Hussein, Chris Megerian, Zeke Miller and Paul Wiseman contributed to the report.

Biden announces heavy artillery and other weapons for Ukraine – Daily Local

Source link Biden announces heavy artillery and other weapons for Ukraine – Daily Local

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