President Joe Biden approved an $800 million package of military assistance to Ukraine on Wednesday, including additional helicopters and the first provision of American artillery. The Ukrainians also will receive armored personnel carriers, armored Humvees, naval drone vessels used in coastal defense, and gear and equipment used to protect soldiers in chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological attacks. The additional aid was announced after the President spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
It is the latest in a series of U.S. security assistance packages valued at a combined $2.6 billion that has been committed to Ukraine since Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion on February 24th. The weaponry and support material have played an important role in Ukraine’s successful defense thus far.
The Pentagon said some of the weapons and equipment provided by the $800 million assistance package will require some training for a Ukrainian military not fully accustomed to American military technology. U.S. and allied forces had been present inside Ukraine to provide training for eight years before pulling out in advance of the Russian dictator’s latest invasion.
Today, I spoke with President Zelenskyy and shared with him that my Administration is authorizing an additional $800 million in weapons, ammunition, and other security assistance to Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/i1xlClxnUB
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 13, 2022
Among the other items in the package are 11 Soviet-era Mi-17 helicopters that the United States had planned to provide to Afghanistan before Biden last year decided to fully withdraw from the country. They are transport helicopters that also can function in an attack role. The Pentagon previously had sent five Mi-17s to Ukraine.
Without additional weaponry, this war will become an endless bloodbath, spreading misery, suffering, and destruction. Mariupol, Bucha, Kramatorsk – the list will be continued. Nobody will stop Russia except Ukraine with Heavy Weapons. #ArmUkraineNow pic.twitter.com/miSOL5zvuA
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) April 13, 2022
“This new package of assistance will contain many of the highly effective weapons systems we have already provided and new capabilities tailored to the wider assault we expect Russia to launch in eastern Ukraine,” President Biden said in a statement. “The steady supply of weapons the United States and its allies and partners have provided to Ukraine has been critical in sustaining its fight against the Russian invasion,” the President added. “It has helped ensure that (Russia President Vladimir) Putin failed in his initial war aims to conquer and control Ukraine. We cannot rest now.”
If you’re a reporter expressing more outrage over President Biden accurately calling Putin’s genocidal war in Ukraine “genocide” than Donald Trump calling it “genius,” “savvy,” “wonderful,” and “so smart,” you are fucking terrible at your job.
— Andrew Wortman 🏳️🌈🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@AmoneyResists) April 13, 2022