Biden to announce new Ukraine security assistance Thursday

Biden plans to announce the new shipments of aid – which includes heavy artillery and ammunition – as he updates Americans on the state of the conflict, which is nearing its second month and entering what US officials have said could be a bloody new phase.

The new military aid package the President will announce comes in at roughly $ 800 million following a similarly sized measure earlier this month. If approved, the latest package would mean the US has committed approximately $ 3.4 billion dollars in assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began on February 24.

This would be the last presidential drawdown until Congress approves more money for weapons to Ukraine. In a presidential drawdown, the Defense Department pulls weapons and equipment from US inventories to send to Ukraine instead of purchasing new weapons from manufacturers.

In his remarks, Biden plans to update Americans on US efforts to support the people of Ukraine along with unveiling the new assistance package, which has been finalized in recent days.

The latest package would come a week after the Biden administration authorized another $ 800 million security package, which included artillery and anti-artillery radars for the first time since the Russian invasion began.

The Biden administration is working to get the military assistance to Ukraine as quickly as possible because it believes the war is at a critical stage and the continued US assistance could make a difference when Russia’s more aggressive assault on eastern Ukraine ramps up.

The more open terrain in that region favors the use of artillery and long-range systems, which is why the administration has placed a premium on getting those types of systems in quickly as the fighting moves away from Kyiv and into the Donbas region.

Biden discussed additional western assistance to Ukraine with fellow world leaders in a secure video call Monday, where he also voiced a need to provide additional ammunition to Ukraine. Other countries, including Canada and the Netherlands, have announced their own shipments of arms to Ukraine this week.

Meeting his top military officials at the White House on Wednesday, Biden touted the steady flow of American assistance into Ukraine as the war grinds on.

“Weapons and ammunition are flowing in daily, and we’re seeing just how vital our alliances and partnerships are around the world,” Biden told Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and US Combatant Commanders at a meeting in the Cabinet Room.

Biden said the US force posture has to be “dynamic” as the strategic environment abroad is “evolving rapidly.”

“We’ve seeing this very day the need for adaptation as a consequence of our standing with Ukraine against Putin’s brutal and unjustified war. And I want to applaud the exceptional work you’re doing to arm and equip brave Ukrainians to defend their nation, “he said.

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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