President Biden Announces New $800M in Military Assistance to Ukraine

  • Published
  • By Terri Moon Cronk
  • DOD News

President Joe Biden announced today that the United States will send another $800 million in equipment to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia's two-month-long invasion.

Today's announcement comes on the heels of an $800 million military aid package the president signed last week.

"Now [Russian troops have] launched and refocused their campaign to seize new territory in eastern Ukraine, and we're in a critical window where they're going to set the stage for the next phase of this war," the president said. "And the United States and our allies and partners are moving as fast as possible to continue to provide Ukraine the forces that they need [and] the equipment their forces need to defend their nation."

Biden said today's announcement of more military equipment would further augment Ukraine's ability to fight in its eastern area of the country, particularly in the Donbas region. "This package includes heavy artillery weapons, dozens of howitzers and 144,000 rounds of ammunition to go with those howitzers. It also includes more tactical drones," he said.

In the past two months, the president added, the United States has moved weapons and equipment to Ukraine at record speed. "We've sent thousands of anti-armor and anti-missile helicopters, drones, grenade launchers, machine guns, rifles, radar systems."

"The United States alone has provided 10 anti-armor systems for every one Russian tank that's in Ukraine — a 10-to-1 ratio," Biden added. "We're continuing to share significant timely intelligence with Ukraine to help defend them against Russian aggression," he said. 

The president said the United States is sending funding directly to the front lines of freedom "to the fearless and skilled Ukrainian fighters who are standing in the breach." He touted the courage of Ukrainians and the resolve shown by not just their military, but also by the Ukrainian citizens.

"It's the sustained and coordinated support of the international community, led and facilitated by the United States [that] is a significant reason why Ukraine is able to stop Russia from taking over their country this far," Biden said.

The president said that next week he plans to send Congress a supplemental budget request to keep weapons and ammunition flowing to Ukraine without interruption. "My expectation is Congress would move quickly," he noted, citing bipartisan support for the people of Ukraine.

"Our unity with our allies and partners and our unity with the Ukrainian people is sending an unmistakable message to [Russian President Vladimir Putin]," Biden said. "He will never succeed in dominating and occupying all of Ukraine; that will not happen."

In addition to bolstering Ukraine's resistance on the battlefield, the United States is also demonstrating its support for the people of Ukraine, he said.

"Today, the United States is announcing that we intend to provide an additional $500 million in direct economic assistance to the Ukrainian government," the president said. "This brings our total economic support for Ukraine to $1 billion in the past two months. This is money the government can [use to] help to stabilize their economy, to support communities that have been devastated by the Russian onslaught and pay the brave workers that continue to provide essential services to the people of Ukraine," he added.

As the United States has welcomed tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees so far, Biden also announced today, "Uniting for Ukraine," a new program to enable Ukrainians seeking refuge to come directly from Europe to the United States. 

The new humanitarian program will complement the existing legal pathways available to Ukrainians, including immigrant visas and refugee processing, the president said. "It will provide an expedient channel for secure, legal migration from Europe to the United States for Ukrainians who have a U.S. sponsor, such as a family or a [nongovernmental organization]. This program will be fast, it will be streamlined, and will ensure the United States honors its commitment to the to the people of Ukraine," he added.

Additionally, the Treasury Department yesterday rolled out further measures to crack down on the entities and individuals attempting to evade the unprecedented sanctions that have been imposed on Russia — not just the United States' sanctions, but those throughout the West, Biden said.

"Today, I'm announcing the United States will ban Russian-affiliated ships from our ports, as they did in Europe. That means no ship that sails under the Russian flag, or that is owned or operated by Russian interests, will be allowed to dock in a United States port or access our shores," he said.

Biden said that Putin was counting on the resolve of NATO, the European Union and U.S. allies in Asia giving way, leading to reduced support for Ukraine.

"Once again, we're going to prove him wrong," he said. "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."