US Prez Biden announces $2.98 billion military aid for Ukraine on its Independence Day | Russia Ukraine Crisis

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday, August 24, congratulated the people of Ukraine on their 31st Independence Day. To commemorate the occasion, Biden announced that he is sending new weapons and military equipment to Ukraine worth $2.98 billion. The US President asserted that the new security assistance will enable Ukraine to acquire air defence systems, artillery systems, munitions and other military equipment. 

“I am proud to announce our biggest tranche of security assistance to date: approximately $2.98 billion of weapons and equipment to be provided through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative,” US President Joe Biden said in his statement.  

“This 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 added. 

In his statement, Biden reiterated Washington’s commitment to supporting Ukraine as they continue the fight to defend their sovereignty. Lauding the resistance of Ukrainians, he underscored that Ukraine has stood “resolute and strong” in facing Russia’s offensive and that this Independence day is “bittersweet for many Ukrainians”. Thousands of people have been killed or injured and millions of people have been forced to leave their homes, he said.

However, he noted that six months of attacks have “strengthened” Ukraine’s pride in themselves and their nation. Biden further emphasised that the US continues to stand with Ukraine to “proclaim that the darkness that drives autocracy is no match for the flame of liberty that lights the souls of free people everywhere.”

Today, I congratulate the people of Ukraine on their Independence Day.

The Ukrainian people have inspired the world with their courage and dedication to freedom. We are committed to continuing to support them as they defend their sovereignty and their democracy.

— President Biden (@POTUS) August 24, 2022

Zelenskyy expresses gratitude to US for military assistance 

After US President’s announcement, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed gratitude to Joe Biden for the “unprecedented package” of security assistance of nearly $3 billion. Taking to his Twitter handle, Zelenskyy emphasised that Ukrainians appreciate the unwavering support of the US For Ukraine.

Notably, the US has been offering defence and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine ever since Moscow launched the offensive in Kyiv. Earlier on August 19, US State Department pledged another $775 million package for Ukraine. The defence assistance included military equipment for Ukrainian armed forces, including additional arms, munitions among others. It is pertinent to mention here that the US has also imposed sanctions against Russia ever since Moscow began its military aggression in Ukraine. 

Grateful to @POTUS and the people of 🇺🇸 for the powerful congratulations on 🇺🇦 Independence Day – an unprecedented package of security assistance of almost $3 billion. The people of Ukraine, all our defenders highly appreciate 🇺🇸’s unwavering support. Together we will win!

— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) August 24, 2022

Image: AP 

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