Biden announces an additional $800 million, more weapons for UkraineMarch 17, 2022
President Joe Biden announced an additional $800 million in taxpayer-funded aide to Ukraine Wednesday, the latest round of federal funds to help the nation, which is gripped in a war to fend off Russia’s invasion.
That money, combined with $200 million announced Saturday, totals $1 billion in new assistance for military equipment for the nation. Biden said the U.S would send 9,000 anti-armor systems, 7,000 small arms, 20 million rounds of ammunition, as well as drones, adding that “more would be coming.”
“Putin is inflicting appalling devastation and horror on Ukraine, bombing apartment buildings, maternity wards, hospitals,” Biden said. “Yesterday, we saw reports that Russian forces were holding hundreds of doctors and patients hostage in the largest hospital in Mariupol.”
Biden pointed to the military and humanitarian assistance the U.S. has provided to Ukraine and emphasized the need to “make Putin pay.”
“Now, I want to be honest with you,” Biden 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 populations. We are united in our abhorrence of Putin’s depraved onslaught…”
Biden’s announcement came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave a virtual address to Congress Wednesday morning, asking America for more military equipment and saying, “new packages of sanctions are needed constantly, every week until the Russian military machine stops.”
“Russia has attacked not just us, not just our land, not just our cities, it went on a brutal offensive against our values, basic human values,“ Zelenskyy said. “It threw tanks and planes against our freedom, against our right to live freely in our own choosing our own future, against our desire for happiness, against our national dreams. Just like the same dreams you have, you Americans, just like anyone else in the United States.”
Zelesnky alluded to several historic American moments in his address, including Pearl Harbor, September 11, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech.
“’I have a dream.’ These words are known to each of you today,” he said. “I can say I have a need. I need to protect our sky. I need your decision, your help, which means exactly the same. The same you feel when you hear the words, ‘I have a dream.’”
Republicans have largely supported Zelensky’s effort to repel Russian aggression but also repeatedly called on Biden to focus on domestic energy production as a counter to Russian oil.
“Biden will bow and scrape to petty dictators for oil but doesn’t dare confront his own radical left wing and actually reopen energy production in America,” U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said.
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