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U.S. to Send $3 Billion in Aid to Ukraine

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stands with military in background | Image by ABC

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As Ukraine marked six months of war with Russia on Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden announced another package of military aid to Ukraine, nearly $3 billion worth of taxpayer money meant to enable the embattled nation to acquire weapons for defense.

“The United States of America is committed to supporting the people of Ukraine as they continue the fight to defend their sovereignty,” Biden said in a statement. “As part of that commitment, 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.”

“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 said.

Since Biden took office in January 2021, the administration has provided more than $10.6 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, most of which — $9.9 billion — has been issued since Russia launched its invasion on February 24, according to the Associated Press.

August 24 also marked the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence. In a defiant and emotional speech to the nation on Wednesday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared that Russia’s invasion signified a rebirth of his country.

“A new nation appeared in the world on February 24 at 4 in the morning. It was not born, but reborn,” he said, according to Reuters. “A nation that did not cry, scream or take fright. One that did not flee. Did not give up. And did not forget.”

Zelenskyy, who has received worldwide praise for rallying his country in the face of Russian military aggression, has vowed to liberate areas of the east occupied by Russian forces, including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, reported The Dallas Express.

“And we will put our hands up only once – when we will celebrate our victory,” Zelenskyy said. “The whole of Ukraine. Because we do not trade our lands and our people. For us, Ukraine is all of Ukraine. All 25 regions, without any concessions or compromises. We do not know these words, they were destroyed by missiles on February 24.”

Independence Day celebrations in Kyiv were subdued as it was anticipated that Russia would increase attacks on the city. Zelenskyy had previously warned that Russia might launch “repugnant provocations and brutal strikes,” according to NBC News.

On Tuesday, ahead of the Ukrainian holiday, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv issued a new warning to Americans to leave the country amid the ongoing Russian invasion, The Dallas Express reported.

“Russia is stepping up efforts to launch strikes against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days,” the embassy warned.

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