U.S. President Joe Biden extended a $3 billion package to Ukraine in military aid to mark its Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday.
Since Russia’s invasion six months ago, this new military assistance is the largest aid package from Washington, and it draws from funds from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).
The USAI fund was appropriated by Congress to allow the Biden administration to procure weapons from industry rather than taking weapons from existing U.S. weapons stocks.
Ever since the beginning of the Biden administration in January 2021, the United States has committed approximately $10.6 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, and, since 2014, the US has committed more than $12.6 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.
Biden’s military package to Ukraine comes amidst possible Russian attack
The announcement of the aid by President Biden on Kyiv’s Independence Day comes amidst a warning by U.S. officials that Russia appears to be planning to launch fresh attacks on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days.
In a statement during the announcement of the aid, Biden said, “The United States of America is committed to supporting the people of Ukraine as they continue the fight to defend their sovereignty.”
Biden also commented on Kyiv’s “bittersweet” anniversary of independence from Russian-dominated Soviet rule thirty-one years ago.
The approximately $2.98 billion in assistance “will allow Ukraine to acquire air defense systems, artillery systems, and munitions, counter-unmanned aerial systems, and radars to ensure it can continue to defend itself over the long term,” he said.
Since February 24th, the Russian forces’ invasion in what President Vladimir Putin termed a “special military operation” to demilitarize Ukraine has settled into a war of slow destruction.
The invasion primarily targeted the country’s eastern and southern areas with the Luhansk Oblast near Milove village on the border with Russia being the first to be affected.
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