WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden announced Thursday the United States will give an additional $1.3 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and warned Congress additional funding will soon be needed to continue with the flow of weapons to the country.
Speaking from the White House, Biden said $800 million is being provided for heavy artillery weapons, including 72 howitzers, 144,000 rounds of ammunition, and 121 tactical “ghost” drones.
“We don’t know how long this war will last, but as we approach the two-month mark, here’s what we do know, Putin has failed to achieve his grand ambitions on the battlefield,” Biden said.
Since the start of the war, the United States has given $3.4 billion in military support to Ukraine and $4 billion since Biden entered office. The President said he will make an additional request to Congress to “keep weapons and ammunition flowing without interruption”, admitting he’s exhausted his drawdown authority given to him by Congress.
“We will not lessen our resolve. We’re going to continue to stand with the brave and proud people of Ukraine. We will never fail in our determination to defend freedom and oppose tyranny. It’s as simple as that,” Biden said.
Prior to his remarks, Biden met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal at the White House.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted a message following the announcement, saying he was “grateful” to Biden and the American people for the additional support.
“This help is needed today more than ever! It saves the lives of our defenders of democracy and freedom and brings us closer to restoring peace in” Ukraine, Zelenskyy said.
I’m grateful to @POTUS & 🇺🇸 people for the leadership in supporting the people of Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression. This help is needed today more than ever! It saves the lives of our defenders of democracy and freedom and brings us closer to restoring peace in 🇺🇦.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) April 21, 2022
The administration announced an $800 package last week that included 40,000 artillery rounds and 18 155 mm howitzers.
“We won’t always be able to advertise everything we, that our partners are doing to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom,” Biden said. “But to modernize Teddy Roosevelt’s famous advice, sometimes he will speak softly and carry a large Javelin because we’re sending a lot of those as well.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in the key city of Mariupol overnight but the President disputed that, saying there is not enough evidence to say Russia has been successful.
“It’s questionable whether he does control Mariupol,” Biden said. “There is no evidence yet Mariupol has completely fallen.”