Biden Sends $800M In Quick Military Aid To Ukraine; More Coming
US President Joe Biden announced an extra $800 million in military aid to Ukraine on top of new appropriations from Congress hours before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered an impassioned virtual speech before US lawmakers on Mar. 16, 2022, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, David E. Sanger, and Katie Rogers reported for New York Times.
Photo Insert: US President Joe Biden during a secure emergency call with President Macron, Chancellor Scholz, and Prime Minister Johnson regarding the situation in Ukraine.
High on the list is more antiaircraft batteries, enabling them to harass — and shoot down — Russian cargo planes and fighter jets arriving around the embattled city.
Besides asking for weapons and warplanes, Zelensky has pleaded with NATO to enforce a no-fly zone, a move the allies have refused because it would put them in direct combat with Russian military forces.
The administration last week announced $200 million in security aid for Ukraine. In February, the Biden administration approved a $350 million arms package to Ukraine. Altogether, the Biden administration has authorized $1.2 billion in weapons for Ukraine in the past year, officials said.
Those weapons have included at least 600 Stinger antiaircraft missiles and about 2,600 Javelin antitank missiles, according to a senior White House official. But what Ukraine needs are more sophisticated antimissile systems.
So far, the US has provided Ukraine five Mi-17 helicopters, three patrol boats, and 70 other vehicles of various kinds. The assistance also included small arms: 200 grenade launchers, 200 shotguns, 200 machine guns, and nearly 40 million rounds of ammunition, the official said.
America also has sent one million grenade, mortar, and artillery rounds, as well as body armor, helmets, tactical gear, and military medical equipment, the official said.
The weapons come from existing US military stockpiles in Europe and are flown into neighboring countries, like Poland and Romania, where they are shipped overland into western Ukraine, the official said.
The Biden administration has also asked Congress for $4.25 billion in new funding for economic and humanitarian assistance for Ukrainians.